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Grades do not define you

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Repeat after me: “I am not my grade.”

It is graduation season, aka the most terrifying moment of your life since the day you had to collect your O-level results! I dare wager that graduation day is scary because from there on, the future is a huge question mark.

Should you go straight into the workforce or further your studies? The bigger question of course is whether the grades you have achieved are good enough for entering either. But I think it is important to remember that grades are not everything.


ADMIT IT, WE ALL HAD THIS THOUGHT.
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It is upsetting to see others' disheartened tweets and Facebook posts about how they have no future because their GPA is low and not good enough for them to enter a local university. In Singapore there seems to be an unspoken rule: if you do not have the right grades, your future will not be bright.

But to me, grades are a rather superficial representation of your effort. Sometimes you can work really hard on a certain assignment but still get a low grade because your work does not suit the marking rubrics. Other times you can score a pretty good grade out of sheer luck without studying. These show how your grades are not accurate reflections of the amount of effort you put in.


SCHOOL IS HARD. WE ALL KNOW THAT.
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Of course there will be some assignments you regret not putting more effort into. The resulting C+ may have pulled down your GPA, but there is no use crying over spilled milk. Wallowing will not change that grade and you probably learnt a hard lesson on time management or learning to seek help on things you do not understand.


THIS DOES NOT MEAN YOU FAIL DELIBERATELY, BUT RATHER ACCEPT THAT FAILING IS A PART OF LIFE AND WORK AROUND IT.
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I think that the key thing in life is not to work hard only on superficial things, such as good grades and great CCA records, but to work hard on the things beneath the surface.

A person is defined by their morals and values. Some of these happen to be affected by how you react in school to assignments and the grades you receive for them. Do you take on assignments exploring new boundaries? Do you make sure the work you submit is yours and not a replicate of someone else's? How do you handle conflict in a group project or respond to a bad grade?

These choices all help shape the person that you are. So go beyond just looking at the grades you have achieved and focus on the lessons you have learnt through the experience.


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This would be a good time to gently remind you that people like Walt Disney and Richard Branson (owner or Virgin Airlines) are school dropouts. If there is a will, there is a way; An unsatisfactory grade does not make your goal impossible to achieve, it just makes it a little harder.

As naïve as it sounds, I believe that good things happen to good people who work hard. If you have the right set of morals and values, and you are willing to work hard, I am sure you will definitely get to where you want to be. Go get them, tiger!


YOU GOT THIS.
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