A student asked me here: how were your grades in the US? I told him: As. You will not see anything but As. In short, in some of the courses, I scored 108% because there is that thing where they offer bonuses to help those struggling to catch up. In Nigeria, making A was tougher, not because of the academic work, but because of the academic environment. Work hard to make good grades even though many will say it does not matter. Notice that they have been unable to explain how bad grades help!
It has been a long time since I made a resume. But my resume those days was evident: 4.00/4.00 CGPA. The world respects that. That was how I got my NASA scholarship because the reviewer wanted to meet the all As guy.
To make As, you must have had an A-lifestyle on managing your time. Those are great signs you can get things done. So, I challenge you to avoid making Bs and fill the transcripts with As. Show people that even though you came from Africa, that you are good to return As in transcripts. It opens many things because brilliant students are admired.
In Johns Hopkins University, I had many fellowships: grades make those happen. Aim higher and challenge your capabilities to be the best.
My Tuskegee University transcript. I am an American straight A student
Comment: Ehmm, before those who managed to scrape Bs and Cs get depressed reading this, just know that if you are great at what you do, nobody will demand for your grades, only your sterling work will be shining everywhere. All the guys innovating and creating big things we admire, we don’t know them because of their grades, rather because of products and services they have delivered to humanity.
I understand that this post was intended to inspire young people for academic excellence, but it can easily send a lot more people into depression; so do not get it twisted, irrespective any side of the divide you fell under.
If you were never wired to be book smart, don’t kill yourself, not everyone should have wasted years chasing a degree, when you would have been excellent, had you taken a different route. Some people only gained communication skills from all their years of schooling, every other thing they accomplished was through sheer ingenuity; but it’s all well and good. Stop beating yourself up. Regret is a waste of time.
Now you have another chance to make all As, by being terrific and excellent at what you do; excel there, and the world will congregate and honour you.
My Response: Great perspectives Francis Oguaju and thanks for broadening this conversation. Certainly, As in life must not stop in transcripts. We need to keep pushing. But as you noted, I want young people to push more. The greatest failure is not the B or C but not fixing things that produce bad grades. Why? If you do not fix those, post graduation, they will remain. But if you do the best and make Cs, you will be fine in life because those principles will take you higher. The grades do not matter. What matter is what you do to get them! Please read this piece.
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