Okay. I get it. So you haven’t necessarily put in 100% effort into your grades so far. I’ve spent plenty of years slacking through school myself but eventually the slow kick in the butt the world gave knocked some sense into me. For years, I struggled to care even the slightest bit about my grades.
I did have one reason that I kept trying to use to force myself to study with but it never worked. Since I’ve started working with students on how to improve their grades, I’ve learned that it’s actually one of the most common mistakes students make.
Do not get good grades to make someone else happy.
Despite all the whining of your parents or teachers, you cannot give in. Any attempt to study to make someone else happy is an almost completely wasted effort. You have only one life to live. Right now it might not seem like a big deal but you will regret the time you waste studying for this reason. Studying to make other people happy is a completely inefficient and painful way to spend your time. If you’re going to find a reason to get good grades then take the time to find a good one. That will speed up your studying and make sure you can actually enjoy the process.
What are the reasons you should be getting good grades.
1. The Pursuit Of Knowledge
Yes. This is the noble and blatantly obvious first answer. Of course, 99% of you will glance over this like a crack in a sidewalk but this crack happens to be wide enough to break your ankle if you’re not looking out.
Your grades can be thought of as a sign of the knowledge you’re gaining. While it’s never as simple as that cliché, it holds some truth. If you’re looking to gain knowledge that they teach in school, focus on getting good grades as proof that you’re actually learning it.
That being said, this should not apply for most students. Don’t feel bad if you really don’t care about the subjects taught in school.
2. Personal Training
I may have never enjoyed many subjects in school but after I started focusing on scoring high, this was one of my fundamental reasons.
You only have so much time in your day. If you want to be a better person, you need to use that time to improve. Considering you spend hours of your day cramped up into a dim classroom, you might as well use it as a way to improve yourself.
Your grades improving is usually a sign that you’re improving your ability to learn information in school. These improvements will be helpful well past your school years.
3. To Get People Off Your Back (Yea. It’s different.)
I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t this the same as making other people happy? Not exactly.
You should not be getting good grades to satisfy someone else but, for most students, getting poor grades would be absolutely miserable. Not because there is some major life consequence (well… probably) but mostly because parents and teachers would be poking you with annoying comments all day about your lack of effort.
If you’re in a non-voluntary school situation like high school or earlier, satisfying people to the point that they shut up is a reasonable motivation to get good grades. If you’re getting C’s and your parents are complaining that you should be getting A’s, try only getting B’s and see if they stop whining. If they do, maybe it’s worth sticking with the B effort. If they still keep complaining then either get the grades they want solely to shut them up (and don’t put in an extra ounce of effort over that,) or forget trying to please them.
The difference between this and to make other people happy is this. Do the minimum to get people to let you live your own life. (Sometimes no amount will do this. If not, this reason is not for you. Deal with the people in your life. Not your grades.)
4. Prepare For A Career
So, you’ve decided you want to be a doctor (or maybe a professional basket weaver?) Getting good grades now, particularly in related subjects can be a great way to start prepping for a job. Notice the word start. It’s definitely a small step for most careers but some career fields this is particularly useful.
If you want to be a math teacher (or engineer or card counter etc.) then focus on getting good grades in math. These lessons will definitely help you in your future career. Your history grade might be a complete waste of time though.
5. Create A Buffer
Okay. Maybe you’re not so motivated by any of these other reasons. Despite that, you might still want to pass the class (how odd of you, right?)
Good grades can be created as a buffer for more slacking in the future. With some courses, the early lessons are significantly easier than the later lessons. For those courses (and certain other situations) you may want to get great grades early on so you can slack off a little later in the year without worrying about your grades failing.
Imagine how great it will feel having a final coming up that you could completely fail and still get a good grade in the course. Yea. Studying isn’t all that hard in those cases.
6. Top School Or A Scholarship
Notice the word top school. I did not use the word good school. Good colleges do very little to help your career in the future versus the average college. They generally charge more to give you a slightly better education. That better education, usually doesn’t pay off with a better career.
Imagine you’re an employer reading an application that shows a person went to Joanasburg University? That may be the greatest college in the country educationally but if your potential employer hasn’t heard of it, it means nothing. Top schools include MIT, Harvard, and other recognizably named colleges. On top of that, they can usually get you significantly better connections for your future.
If you’re close to qualifying for one of those top colleges then you should consider keeping those grades up to make sure you have the chance to get in. At the very least, you may be able to get an academic scholarship. That can also be a great reason to keep fighting for great grades.
7. Cause You Wanna
Don’t let me tell you not to score high if you have some personal reason you want to get good grades. Maybe you want to impress the girl sitting next to you in class? Maybe you’re hot for teacher? Maybe you’re a time traveler planning to learn information to take back to your society where you’ll use it to defeat the evil ninja monkeys on mars? Whatever really floats your boat it a good motivation. As long as it really gets you excited, it can be a good reason to get a good grade.
Just please… don’t do it to try and make other people happy. If they need your grades to be happy then they have bigger problems they should be worrying about.