College students like to skip over grades, but this is a mistake. If you’re seriously considering a vibrant career, you cannot just think that grades don’t matter. The truth is that grades matter a lot more than people would like to admit. You have to have some metric in terms of performance. You don’t want to just assume that your grades won’t matter, because that’s not up to you to decide. The company that you’re interviewing with has to ultimately decide what’s going to be the standard and what isn’t going to be the standard. You have to be aware of everything around you in terms of your education.
Sure, there are limits to the “good grades get you everywhere” theory. For one, you need to make sure that you are thinking about trying to have a well rounded portfolio in terms of volunteering opportunities and your internships. You should be as visible as possible on campus. Get involved in local student government, or get involved in a club that’s going to led to getting noticed more. Having a heart for humanity and doing service projects is a great way to get noticed. You just need to figure out what you’re going to ultimately do in terms of your overall plan.
Being honest about your grades doesn’t mean that it’s always going to be bad news. You want to make sure that you give yourself credit for the work that you’re doing that’s actually right. If you were to slide in all of your subjects, that might be a mindset issue. Are you really as committed to your education as you think you are? Chances are good that you could get a little more serious. Some people spend a long time getting worked up about anything and everything related to their education, but that’s the wrong idea as well. You need to make sure that you give yourself a chance to unwind after a harsh day at school. If you’re working full time and going to school, then it’s even more important to rest up.
Yet if you are a student full time, then the obvious point is this — what else do you have to work on? You aren’t working at a job, or you’re working at a job that lets you focus on your homework? Instead of complaining about everything that’s against you, why not focus on the things that you can solve? Why not focus on the things that really matter? Why not focus on building relationships that are going to work out for the long term? Focusing on the short term, fleeting things aren’t going to get you anywhere important.
If you need help in a subject, the natural approach would be to go to tutoring. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about at all. Many people go and get help with subjects that they really don’t understand. If you are looking through your options, you will realize that good grades get you there.
Any company that’s interested in hiring you will want to make sure that you’re dedicated to the field. They want to see that your grades are good in subjects that are related to your future profession. If you aren’t careful, you could end up sacrificing your core subjects for classes that really don’t matter in the long run.
What about when your grades are not as good as they could be, but you have a valid reason for it? It could be that you have a hard time testing in that subject, or you might have missed some homework for a valid reason (like being incredibly sick). Sometimes it’s too late to change the course of a bad grade, and that means that you’ll have to try again next semester. If that’s the case, make sure that you let your future employer know. You will want to indicate the steps that you’ve taken to make sure that it’s not just a mere failure, but a lesson that you’ve learned from. For example, what are you doing to fix the problem? In addition, what are you doing to make sure that this doesn’t happen again?
The more that you show that you can think like a professional, the more currency that your grades carry. If you’re still having the same “party all night” attitude that you had in high school, you’re not going to get anywhere very quickly.