I'm a fan of internal stress.
Five great questions of life: Life * Love * Learning * Labor * Leadership
Grade Stress: Where's the Source?By Evan Nehring
There are two kinds of stress when it comes to grades: external and internal.
External stress is what comes at you that you can’t control. It’s the fear of failing out of school. It’s the fear of losing your scholarship status. It’s the fear of your parents seeing your final grades. It’s anger at having to do extra assignments and makeup assignments. External stress happens when you have little self-control. I had plenty of friends who got very stressed over final grades, but some of us didn't. While our external stress friends had been out on the town, we had chosen the other type of stress. For the record, I still had plenty of time out on the town.
I’m a fan of internal stress. It’s basically just self-discipline. You fight for good grades. You strain for A’s. You debate with your teachers about half-points on quizzes. (Guilty!) You set academic goals for yourself. Can you see the difference? External stress stalks you. Internal stress motivates you. My personal mindset was that I’d like to be able to get up and teach the class once I’d completed it. Yes, I understand that the professors had a much deeper understanding of the subject area than we observed in the class. But I chose my course of study carefully and wanted to excel in every facet.
What’s your mindset? What’s your commitment to academics?
I was chatting with friends on the 4-East dorm floor my freshman year when the topic of a 4.0 GPA came up. We didn't do letter grades in high school in Canada; we did percent. One of the guys on the floor mentioned that someone had graduated the year before with a 4.0 GPA.
It’s difficult to describe how my mind fried in that moment as I tried to wrap my brain around what he had just said. To me, 4.0 meant perfect because 100% meant perfect. To me, it meant never missing a point on a test, or getting a B on a paper, or even dropping a half-point on a quiz! Oh my! How could this be! I was speechless.
I came to learn that getting a 4.0 GPA simply meant getting all A’s in your classes. Getting an A in a class simply meant having an average in the 90’s. Whew! This new revelation seemed to spark a creative idea with me: why not do that? Why not get a 4.0? Turns out it was easier said than done.