What Are Grades Worth?

For some minds, figures are always the bases for success, such as doing good in school, having good grades, having the perfect attendance, being active, etc. As teenagers we are expected to have perfect scores in every test, every quiz, assignment and everything we can possibly do in life, not only by our teachers, but also by our parents and guardians. 

We sometimes forget that grades do not determine our worth and begin to validate our dignity with the social norm. In society, people who are known to be successful have gone above and beyond the social conformity. 

Maggie Yick, a junior at Malden High, stated that “although [she knows] this generation wants to make changes in society, caring for their grades [has] many factors.” Despite the fact that grades have majorly affected mental health especially during the pandemic, students should still be able to pass a class for the school year’s curriculum. 

Kristy Hardy, one of the Social Workers at Malden High, explained that “[she has] noticed that [there is] a bit of a competition or competitiveness with the kids like for example being a valedictorian or what not.” The Top 10 rankings are an enormous deal for students in Malden High, which causes the boundaries between those who are considered “smart” and those who are struggling.

A screenshot of the Malden High Social Workers website.

According to Shuyi Chen, a freshman at Malden High, expressed that “some people may have perfect straight A grades [with] a 4.5 GPA, but when they see people in real life they can tend to think [of] things very differently and not socially acceptable.”

There are eight specific types of intelligence that are not as recognized within society; these types of intelligences are known to be intelligence in mathematics, intelligence in being linguistic, intelligence in naturalistic, musical intelligence, boldly kinesthetic intelligence, social intelligence and so on. These unique intelligences are sometimes undermined by society’s standards and people believe that there is always only a one way ticket in order to reach the peak. 

Suiyenah Chen, a senior at Malden High, mentioned believes “that students who have lower grades are led to believe that they are a ‘stupid person’ as a whole, which is damaging to one’s self esteem.” Many students have felt the need to pressure themselves to be accepted by their peers and majority of them are very young, having to experience the peer pressure among the different status and crowds. 

In the real world, people are not taking exams in order to survive; every individual has to work to make a living, whether that be out of every penny they have saved or loans. Even so, especially for the ones who do not have the privilege of growing up in the United States, people like them are in need to work extra hard to at least feed their families.

A screenshot of the Malden High Social Workers Instagram profile.

Allison Yu, a sophomore at Malden High, stated that in her opinion “standardized testing is not an accurate measure of a student’s intelligence.” Mental illness usually begins to develop when students are pushed to go beyond their capabilities, the amount of anxiety and depression amid the pandemic has caused an immense rise of mental disorders within students. 

Yu also mentioned that “[she knows] family and friends that dedicate much of their effort to achieve a high score, sometimes at the expense of their wellbeing.” Even those who are committed to work for higher grades have the same issues with the ones who may be struggling a bit more. 

Vita Chiarenza, a Social Worker at Malden High, thinks that “every teacher is open to [sustaining] students on an individual basis and [thinks] really getting to know students and communicating [in] those areas where students feel like they struggle outside of what may can be considered the norm.” 

Having higher grades than most will not guarantee someone’s success in life. It is through hard work, courage and determination for an individual to become someone. Reach out to the Malden High School Social Workers if needed!

To visit the MHS Social Workers website, click here

To visit the MHS Social Workers’ Instagram page, click here.

Jhechel Kacey Espiritu

Jhechel Kacey Espiritu is a 15-year-old sophomore student. She was born on May 6, 2005, in the Philippines and moved to the United States at the age of eight. This was a hard transition for her but she adjusted well and is still in contact with her family and friends. She still keeps her Filipino culture alive as she eats different Philippine foods every once in a while. Espiritu enjoys hiking, bike riding, photography, dressing up and writing. One of her strengths is writing which she enjoys very much. One of her weaknesses is making new friends. One day Espiritu hopes to go into either the medical or fashion industries.

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