Yes, I am that guy. I am the guy who complains about getting a B on a test because it’s, more often than not, going to hurt my grade in any given class.
I am the guy who spends every Sunday from 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm in the same library cubicle spending way too much on assignments that many finished in a couple minutes.
When everyone has given up on the group project, I am the guy who spends thirty hours the week before it's due adding new content because I thought that’s what the expectation was.
In short, I am the try-hard, the guy who spends way more time on school than he has any right to and who stresses way more than my grades may indicate I should.
Before I continue, I do need to clarify that I am a business student, so do with that information as you may. That being said, I’ve tried to make my curriculum as rigorous as possible, and it’s this combined with the habits I display as a try-hard that have caused some to ask me why I do try so hard.
People in the same field as me have told me that maintaining the level of effort that I give in school will not translate to more job offers.
In fact, one person has argued that it doesn’t matter what my GPA is because the field I plan to enter after graduation, public accounting, has a high demand for labor. For some people, like prospective law students, GPA and standardized test scores are almost all that matter, so it seems counterintuitive to think that no one cares about your scores.
There is something in the comment that rings true though.
After a certain point, like your GPA in high school, your college GPA runs out of influence. Eventually, it has no bearing on your career or academic progress, and of course, socially, no one cares about your GPA unless you’re some pretentious snob.
In turn, if your college GPA’s staying power on a resume is small, then it stands to reason that all of the effort I give and the stress that consumes me during the weeks I routinely denominate as “gauntlets” isn’t entirely worth it.
However, who’s to say that the work I do and the stress that I put on myself is, one, a bad thing, and two, for the purpose of improving my odds at getting into that graduate program or receiving that higher-paying job offer?
I’m not about to claim that studying hard and doing your best on homework assignments will improve your soft skills and make you a more desirable candidate because I’m not even sure if those two have a causal relationship.
Instead, I want to appeal to the simple concept of getting my money’s worth out of my time here. Efficiency combined with satisfaction.
Almost every day I come across people who don’t belong in college.
Some gripe and complain about the workloads of their classes, but they never stop to think about whether what they’re doing is worth moving on further in.
Sure, they may be putting that money to good use, effectively purchasing a degree and a career path, but was it at all satisfactory?
Meanwhile, some people see college as an opportunity to satisfy some desire. Maybe they just want that degree. Maybe they just want to continue a hobby or sport. Maybe they just want to socialize.
Regardless, the end is the same, an education that might not be maximized.
It’s not enough to just do as much as I can and fill my schedule to the brim nor is it enough to just do one or two things I may enjoy for several years.
This time I will rely on a cliché; you truly get out what you put in.
It’s hard, if not impossible, to enjoy anything you do half-assed, so routinely putting in the extra effort goes a long way to truly enjoying what you do. Then, filling your day with a diverse array of activities like that are what elevates one’s time in college to something truly efficient and satisfactory.
So, yes, I am the guy who cares a lot about his GPA and strives for excellence, Magis as it’s sometimes called, in everything I do. It’s not just some Jesuit value you were told about your freshman year. It truly is the key to enjoying every day and becoming the best person you could possibly be, a version of yourself that only you’ll know has improved, not the person reading your resume.