So Tell Me, What’s Your Number?

“If grades are not important then why are companies concerned about how many A’s you’ve got in college. Why do they use it to measure your worth?” Mickey inquired to Mr. Cool Guy [just in case you don’t know Mr. Cool Guy’s my awesome Philosophy professor].

Flashing a grin on our direction he responded coolly, “No they don’t. I’ve been reviewing résumés and it’s not what I look for. If the company you’re applying for is just measuring you with your grades then don’t even dream of going there.”

Mr. Cool Guy added, “What is important is who you are and what you can do. Grades, they are just secondary. It is better that you’re smart. Smart and being academically intelligent, they’re not the same. I prefer you being smart not just in your job in the future but also in here” [points to his chest].

“Not all summa cum laude are smart, not all magna cum laude are smart. They can have all their awards with them but not all of them have the IT. And I hope that you, my students, have it in you. I advice you be SMART,” he commented further.

It was perfectly what I always believed in, it just that whenever I say it I would have to deal with raised eyebrows! Damn. Awesome Mr. Cool Guy is awesome.

I had this experience in high school when people were very concerned about honors and awards. Everyone was into grades and academics while I was there chilling with my friends under the trees or on the court. I was enjoying my suave life, doing what I love to do– being part of the school paper and serving through my leadership abilities.

I wasn’t graded in what I do yet I was enjoying it. I had average marks in my high school subjects. Sometimes I am 55 steps ahead of 70 people but sometimes I would slide 10 steps behind the ladder. I had a roller coaster ride and I never really took studying seriously.

Hence, when I passed my college applications three years ago I wasn’t really sure if good universities will even accept me. I am average. Nonetheless, I took the tests they administered besides there’s really nothing wrong if I would try.

Perhaps luck was on my side or perhaps the panelists who screened my application saw something in me. I would never know. I passed in all the universities that a senior high school dreams of. I was surprised when I received my letter of acceptance but I was more shocked when I learned that my batch mates who were in the honors list were turned down.

I qualified and they did not, how did that happen? I deserve it, I reviewed months for the exams yet I just couldn’t believe it because I thought that any student in the top of his/her class is guaranteed acceptance in the top university in the country.

[Of course those honor students got into this other university which is also well known and well wished of by high school seniors. However, in my university, only two of us from my high school were granted acceptance. And you know what the other one was on the fifth of our batch while I was… well, somewhere down below, I wasn’t even in the honor’s list!]

That day I learned a hard fact. It’s not all about grades.

However, being in school most of the time we just couldn’t help but gauge ourselves based on numbers. That’s how the system works and if you have Ds or Fs people see you as an airheaded good-for-nothing-delinquent-child. But really?

Grades? Their basically just numbers that assess students’ ability to absorb and store information in their heads. Being able to give the right answers in every question like a who-wants-to-be-a-millionaire-contestant doesn’t make one smart. Sure thing they know a lot of things but yet again it doesn’t show what they can do to be winners and make others winners as well.

Lately, I have been consumed about worrying about A’s, B+s, Bs and what not. You see most of the time when I am not good at something I try to push myself even harder. The further I try to extend my arms the more I get frustrated and disappointed about myself. Yes, I am not that “not-so-serious-about-academics-Max” anymore. [I got sucked into this rigid world of weights and measurements]

Maybe I just need to be reminded.

We can build a well planned society with intelligent people BUT because they are intelligent they will never agree by the same reason that they are intelligent [everyone of them will want to be the most intelligent of them all].  It is the smart people who can run it and make it livable. Grades are important to evaluate our skills other than that, it has nothing. It is who the person is that counts.

Imagine I reflected on this while doing my grocery earlier. Now I have to sleep, it’s 12:38 AM on my clock and I think I am too early for Saturday.

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