If students had to choose between sleep and studying for a test that could make or break their A in a class, most would choose studying. Even though we all know that sleeping is necessary in order to properly function and survive.
College students put so much importance on a letter grade because it is what we are defined by for most of our lives.
If we receive straight As, we're brilliant. If we receive some Bs, we're kind of smart. But once we get into the C range, we're just not smart enough.
Though being mediocre shouldn't be what students strive for, letting grades determine your self-worth is absurd. Instead, students need to know what is expected of them in their industry and work toward achieving that.
For those applying to graduate school, law school or medical school, grades are important and your GPA will be an integral part of your admission decision. However, standardized test scores, real world experience and participation in extra curricular activities related to your field is also necessary.
Solely focusing on achieving straight As is not worth it when you have nothing else to back it up. Although there are students who graduate with a 4.0 GPA while being involved in other activities and working, they are the exception -- not the rule.
Do not beat yourself up for getting your first B in a challenging course with a difficult professor. A 3.7 GPA is not going to make or break your future. And, it isn't going to make you less intelligent.
There is a structure that has been set in place for decades -- get good grades or fail. As college and the job market become more competitive, students must remember that good grades don't mean perfect grades.
What students need to be doing is working to their fullest potential in every class, including the easier ones. If your final grade results in less then an A, do not begin to reevaluate your worth. Instead, ask yourself this question: Did I try my best?
If the answer is yes, move on. If the answer is no, then reevaluate your priorities -- not your self esteem.