St. Lucy's Priory High School

Opinion: The Meaning of a 4.0 GPA

As finals season has come to a close and a new semester is upon us, I have recently been reflecting about what it means to have a 4.0 grade point average (GPA) and why today’s society makes that number an ideal one.
Throughout elementary and middle school, I always had a 4.0, so when I entered high school I expected getting a 4.0 to be no different. I had set a personal standard without even realizing it.
During my freshman year, I kept that standard. So again, I did not think anything would change. I was self-centered in my belief that getting all A’s was a must, and there is absolutely no reason why I should not have that 4.0 by the end of the semester.
Midway through my sophomore year, I found myself becoming extremely stressed over my grades and life in general. I had developed a mindset of “Go, go, go, get all A’s,” and when I did not feel that I achieved what I always had, and what I set out for, I felt I had failed and I questioned why this happened.
I got down on myself for not attaining something that I thought everyone else did. But the truth is, most people do not earn that “4.0”, and falling below that mark does not mean you are not going to succeed.
Vince Lombardi perfectly sums up what it means to be successful, “The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.”
I strongly believe that we learn the best lessons from our failures. Without failing, no one would ever realize the differences between right and wrong. Failure makes our successes so much sweeter and aids in our ability to keep persevering through all the hard times we may endure.
I never really understood the meaning of failure throughout my sophomore year and as I began my junior year, I still had the goal of achieving a 4.0.
There is nothing wrong with having a goal for yourself to attain a certain GPA, but it must include the correct mindset, which I lacked.
It was not that my parents were pushing me to get the 4.0, or anyone else, just myself. I still felt that if I did not achieve the 4.0 then I had failed and my life plans were not going to happen.
This is absolutely not true, and the more I became self-aware, and continued to express pride in what I achieved, I was able to finally come to the conclusion that a 4.0 is just a number society puts on students that results in extreme stress and gives them a feeling that they are not good enough.
Many students believe that not receiving the 4.0 will lead to not being accepted into college and catastrophic events. This is untrue because if you put in the work and are willing to fight for what you want, anything is possible and success will come.
I can proudly say, you are good enough, you will succeed and life will go on, even with any perceived “failures.”
-Sydney DiGrazia