What is the point of being on Dean's list?

It’s my first semester of college. I started off really motivated, doing really well. My friend’s dad basically told her and all of her siblings to study and make good grades their first semester because it’s hard to recover from a bad GPA. I told myself to start strong and finish strong. I have not tanked. I’ve been getting perfect grades on homework and assignments. Averaging about a 90 on quizzes and exams. This last past week or two, I’ve had a social stressor. I got a 91.5 on my first Spanish exam, I just got a 72 on my last one. I’m not cutting myself a break. It was not because the material was any harder but because I didn’t do due diligence. My writing quiz has weekly quizzes (the lowest two quizzes get dropped if you don’t miss class). I got a 70 on last week’s quiz. It was the 4th quiz and it was 17 points lower than my prior lowest quiz. Completely unacceptable.

Mixed with what’s going on in my social life, I’m losing my sense of purpose. Originally, my goal was to graduate Summa Cum Laude. I know it might be possible that I wouldn’t but I told myself to aim for that, and to aim for Dean’s list every semester. I’m a Journalism major. What I basically have been told the past few weeks is that experience matters far more than your GPA. I already knew that experience could trump GPA but I always thought your GPA was still important. But people are saying that as long as you have a 3.0 (which doesn’t sound so hard), you’ll do well. I don’t see the point in those As or dean’s list. And I know it’s good to catch myself in this funk right now because right now, it’s not a real problem. It’s very easy to recover from that one exam, that one quiz. But if I can’t find a point in what I’m doing, I can’t bounce back.

Can anyone give me a reason as to why a high GPA is important. I see its benefits if you’re going into say engineering, finance, medicine or if you’re applying to grad school but none of those things are for me. (Grad school is a small possibility but it’s not a definite.)

Personally, it’s always just been a thing that intrinsically motivates me. I want to do well because it’s important to me to show that I understand what I’m doing and that I respect both the sacrifice my parents are making and the time my professors are taking to teach me.

You seem to be asking for a cold shower of reality to help you pull up your socks and get back to work. So, here you are!

imo, a high GPA is not important in and of itself. It can be useful as a tool to get other things you may want: to qualify for prizes or to get into grad school for example. But as you have pointed out, once you are out of college a few years it really won’t count for much.

Choosing to get an average GPA on the other hand is a very important thing, now and later. Choosing to do your job in a ‘so what’ way can become a way of life oh so easily- and it has many direct and indirect consequences.

College is your job, and all jobs have times when they cramp your social life, when they are tiresome, boring, annoying, full of bs, etc. That doesn’t mean that you get to slack off, come in hungover on Monday, skive off early on Friday, not do your work, etc.

Who is going to write your recommendation letters for internships and jobs? pass on information about possible jobs, industry info, and contacts? why, those very profs who are giving you a B- knowing you could be doing A work.

There is a reason that you are in college in the first place: the idea is that you are learning things that will be useful to you. There’s a famous quote in advertising: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” College is a bit like that. The fact is that you have no way of knowing now what is going to be useful to you down the road.

Finally, you chose to go to college, and somebody is paying a lot for you to be there. You are in the shallow end of the college pool, developing the learning muscles (including self-discipline) that you will need to succeed in more advanced classes. If you aren’t going to do it as well as you are able then you are wasting you (your parents / the scholarship/whatever) money and your professors time.

Now go take a real cold shower, refocus your social life to include achievement oriented / low-drama friends and get on with it!

Making Dean’s List is recognition for maintaining a certain academic level. That kind of recognition is important to some people and not for others. If you do plan to go on to school beyond college or even to be competitive for certain internships and other honors then making high grades and maintaining status such as Dean’s List is important as you have basically already stated.

What is most important in college is that you do your best, whatever that is for you. Some students have to work their butts off just to make Cs, getting through and getting the end degree is what is important for that type of student. Some students make high grades without much effort, while others make high grades with just the right amount or a lot of extra effort. Whatever the case, the number one reason for going to college is to learn at the best level that you can.

It sounds like you have had a slump due to whatever personal reasons and have seen a drop in a few grades, and now you want permission to tell yourself that the grades don’t matter. No one can decide that for you. Further, you sound like you have already thrown in the towel of excellent levels of achievement because of a couple lower grades. You still have several weeks to the semester to recover your high grades if you want to. Rather than look for an excuse as to why lowering your standards is acceptable, find resources to help you regroup and strive for your standards.

One of the things that is going to help you feel successful as a student and as an adult for that matter is to figure out how to bounce back from set backs. This will be far better for your self-esteem then immediately throwing in the towel at the least little set back.

Well I simply think a high GPA is important to jumpstart a good career. I believe it still works for grad school. It might actually work better with grad school.