Why do Students put Their Grades Above Everthing?

What is truly necessary in order to get into college?


What is truly necessary in order to get into college?

Emma Safari, Photojournalist

Many students, including individuals at Yorba Linda High School, praise their grades above everything. In terms of grade point average, A’s are desired and sought after, B’s are acceptable, and C’s are passing. That overall grade point average, better known as GPA,  is what many colleges look at when admitting students for fall and spring semesters at their schools. 

As a result, many students push themselves to the limit each and every day to achieve a certain grade point average in order to get into the school of their dreams. By taking advanced placement and college preparation courses, many students put an extra burden on their shoulders. But without these difficult classes and grade boosts, many students would be considered average, and this is not always what colleges look for.

Colleges praise above average students who are constantly involved in their school events, sports, and community. So, how has this extra stress impacted students at Yorba Linda High School? While many students have been seen studying with teachers before school, during lunch, after sports, and at extra tutoring sessions.”I strive for straight A’s, however, this means that I have to stay up for extra hours during the night and miss out on hanging out with my friends,” shares James Vas (10), and he continues to say that school, “causes me stress because sometimes a certain grade will slightly drop and I will be afraid whether or not I have the ability to get it back up and maintain my grade.” 

Social lives are undoubtedly important in order to maintain a healthy mental state, however, many students are unable to spend quality time with friends and or family members outside of school grounds. But with college applications approaching for many of the students at Yorba Linda High School, many students put the numbers above everything.

“I took a mental health day for the first time ever partially because of the stress of keeping grades up. Solid test scores and writing perfect essays essentially determines my future so I would say that is a pretty solid reason of how grades equal stress.”

— Ashley Tsai

Colleges only see the numbers on transcripts, but in their defense, this is the only true factor they can judge a student upon. This unbiased limits the amount of unfair admissions and rejections. 

However, no matter what grade a student achieves, when applying to a high level, pristine college many of the students have achieved the exact same or relatively the same academic numbers. What also differentiates students from one another is the amount of extracurricular activities and school involvement. By upholding a relatively admired grade point average and participating in more school activities, students can guarantee themselves a better chance at being accepted by the admissions.