The worst grade in my degree

report card with an A+

Report card

In the final semester of my degree, I received a grade that would be the lowest mark I’ve ever had!

Growing up I placed a lot of my self-worth and value on the grades I got. I can remember being just seven and counting all my A’s in my semester reports. This carried onto Year 12 ATAR scores and I would not settle for a number less than 95. I pushed myself, made sacrifices and got the grades that I wanted in the end.

It’s crazy thinking back on the pressure I put on myself during Year 12 – my friend the other day reminded me of the time I cried receiving an A minus (I wish I was joking) which is surreal to me now. Getting good grades became my personality trait and I was addicted to the rush of happiness from receiving good results.

So what changed?

Throughout most of my time in high school, I was jobless, focused on school and (somewhat) neglectful of being social. I prioritised good grades because that was the only thing I knew. Fast forward to now, I work + 6 casual jobs, volunteer, I live out of home and I have a social life. I simply don’t have the energy and time I had a few years ago to study for endless hours.

Receiving my worst grade surprisingly didn’t faze me. After all, I understood the low level of effort I put in (and look… the assignment was redeemable in my exam). When I was writing up the assignment, I had preferred to take on more extracurricular activities and work hours which resulted in less time to work on this assessment. Sure, a part of me is cringing at the feedback and I knew I could have done a much better job. But life goes on. You can’t keep dwelling on bad results – you need to channel that energy into doing a better job next time or understanding that you had other commitments that you prioritised.

Good grades don’t come easy. They come with sacrifices to sleep, friendships, relationships, health and the list goes on... So next time you receive a grade that disappoints you, think about the bigger picture.

It’s surreal that I’m writing about being okay with this low grade – I wonder what Year 12 Ingrid would feel reading this? So, whenever semester results release, take it easy on yourself. You’ve done incredible reaching tertiary education and pushing yourself despite life hurdles.

I feel more peace with myself with the acceptance that grades aren’t everything – have you felt this peace yet?

Tagged in What messes with your head, Student life, Study matters, study, mental health, assignments