Here’s a scenario: You’ve studied, stressed and agonized over an exam for weeks. By the time you get to the exam day, you’ve stressed so much that the test itself, which to others may seem impossible, seems easy.
You finish first. You do that thing we all do where we wait for someone else to get up and turn it in before we do. A week — because somehow scanning a test takes an entire week here at Ohio University — you get your grade back: an A.
What do you do next? Do you:
- Tell a few friends, perhaps even your parents, if the test is really that big.
- Tell everyone. Never shut up about it. Post about it on social media.
If you chose option 2, I’ve got some news for you: I’m happy for you and I’m glad you’re doing well, but I could care less about your grades.
I’ve been annoyed with this phenomenon — this obsession with grades and desire to tell everyone — ever since I was a kid.
I don’t think it’s just an ego issue. I think it’s a whole belief that grades make someone who they are, and a need for validation because of one’s good grades. Sometimes, I feel like people define themselves on a scale of zero to four rather than who they are.
Now I’m not saying that your GPA is meaningless — far from it. It’s got real-world implications, and, to a lot of people, it represents their dedication to school and a lot of hard work they’ve put in.
I’m just saying that when you use it as a mark of validation, and when you start to define yourself entirely by a grade you got on a test, it begins to become something negative rather than an accomplishment.
You’re human. You can’t measure yourself on a four-point scale.
At some point, we’ve all bragged about our grades to someone. Even I, a perpetual B-minus student with a tendency to procrastinate, have done it.
It’s natural to tell someone about something good that happened to you. But telling everyone about anything good that happens to you is almost more pretentious than writing a self-indulgent column for The Post.
And there really isn’t anything more pretentious than that.
Bennett Leckrone is a sophomore studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Do you want to tell Bennett about your exceptionally good grades? Tweet him @LeckroneBennett.