Earning a B can be rewarding

Getting less than perfect grades helps an individual grow and challenge themselves more


Victoria Wright, JagWire editor-in-chief

From the very beginning of our education, we are taught to value our grades. Parents and teachers encourage us to get straight As and maintain a perfect GPA. Going into sophomore year, I had never received less than an A and I felt that it was necessary to continue that way. As sophomore year progressed, I knew I was going to end Pre-calculus with a B no matter how hard I tried. At the time, I thought getting a B was awful, but soon after, I realized that getting that B was the best thing that has ever happened to me.

On our grading scale, you receive a B if you’ve earned anywhere from 79.55 percent to 89.55 percent in the class. Clearly, these percentages aren’t failing grades because getting a B is not necessarily failing, but it is failing to be perfect, which is good. No one is perfect and the sooner someone learns that, the happier they can be and the more they can grow as a person. After failing, a person is able to challenge himself without fear of the outcome.

One B is nowhere near the end of the world and it doesn’t limit your opportunities. Some of the wealthiest people in the U.S. didn’t even finish schooling. Of those on the Forbes 400 list, members without a college degree have a 6.6 percent higher net worth than those who do have a college degree. Heck, the richest person in the U.S, Bill Gates, didn’t even graduate. I’m not saying you should drop out, but you don’t have to be perfect to be successful.

Education is important, but what is more important is valuing the knowledge you gain rather than the grades you earn. When colleges are going through applications, grades aren’t all they consider. According to its website, Harvard, in all its prestige, focuses on growth and potential, interests and activities, personal character and how one can contribute to the Harvard community when considering an applicant.

Similarly, in 15 years, employers won’t be asking what your GPA or class rank in high school was; they’ll be asking what skills you have and how you can help them. If we only learn or memorize for tests, rather than gain knowledge, we don’t continue to build on the life skills we need.

If you have to get that A, then by all means get it. But, make sure that A is for yourself, not your parents, teachers or future employers. Live your life how you want, but don’t forget that your grades don’t define you. Getting a B, C, D or even an F can be the most liberating feeling because you no longer feel the need to strive for perfection. You’re free to try the harder classes and not be afraid to fail, or put more effort into a certain class. Failure is not a bad thing; it’s what helps us grow.

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