With finals week quickly approaching, it’s easy to fall off the self-worth path. This time of the year causes people to sleep less, stress more, and lose sight of what’s important.
You might be thinking if you don’t get all A’s on all of your exams, you will be less of a person. You might think your life will crumble or you’ll never be able to reach your dreams.
Yes, finals are important. Studying is a privilege, because you are lucky enough to go to college in the first place. So this isn’t advice to tell you to drop out and be a lazy bum for the rest of your life.
But this calls you to something deeper. It is a challenge to not put your worth in how well you do on your finals.
When you look at your final grades a month from now, are you going to be distraught? You should not feel like a failure just because of a grade on a test.
If you find yourself falling into these traps, you are putting way too much of your worth in your GPA.
Why are you stressing so much? Maybe because you want to get in to your dream graduate school or to feel confident going into that crucial interview of your dream job. You think once you get your dream job, your life will be sunshine and rainbows.
Yet the above scenario is a total fluke, a utopia. Your work and job will never satisfy you. Before you idolize your career, realize a job is never going to solve all your problems.
You might just need a change of mindset. I certainly did this past semester. I thought my grades would fulfill me, so I stressed myself out and studied for hours on end. But I found I was studying for myself, so I would be able to call my mom and flaunt about all the hard work I did to get that grade.
There is always going to be another test to study your butt off for. There is always going to be another assignment you need to do perfectly so your boss potentially promotes you.
Once we achieve one thing, we are immediately looking for the next obstacle. We never feel whole from this self-fulfillment.
After feeling convicted by my motives behind schoolwork, I tried to have a change of mindset. I studied not to glorify myself, but to use the gifts God gave me (a working brain) and the opportunity to be at school. I study now with the intention of making a difference telling stories about the world around me. And to get there, I know I need to go to college.
With this mindset, studying is not about me anymore. Instead, I study to make the world a better place.
And we can always take comfort that no matter how many hours you study, you are going to end up just where you are supposed to be in life.
One test (or even a couple more) is not going to dictate the path laid out for you.
And honestly, I think employers more so care about you as a person and what you have done with your experience in college than your GPA. Sure, your grades play a factor, but mostly they care about your leadership positions and personality traits.
Isn’t this a testament to our worth?
You are not valuable because of your latest good grades, but because of who you are as a person. You are what makes you special, no matter what your transcript says.
So for the next week or two, cut yourself some slack. Make sure you study and use your brain. But also, eat some ice cream, get some good sleep, hang out with your friends, laugh with your study buddies, even eat some M&M’s. Life is short.
You never know when your last day could be. Do you want your last day to be spent in selfish isolation? Or would you rather try your best but also make time to enjoy your life while your at it?
Studying doesn’t have to be so miserable. It can be God glorifying.
Before you freak out and have a panic attack, just think: Will this test matter in ten years?
Chances are, it won’t. You probably won’t even remember it, and instead you will be focusing on other tasks you need to get done for the moment.
Do your best, and do not kick yourself if you don’t do as well as you thought you would. No matter what your grades are, you are fearfully and wonderfully made.
So happy studying, friends. Never forget you are so much more than your GPA.