Grades. An untrustworthy rating of a person’s value.
I discharged myself from education (up to A-levels) two years ago. I can honestly inform you that I struggle to reminisce a large majority of what I was taught – although this could be due to my inadequate memory since I’m 20 and advancing in my years… (that was a joke). You can judge me now and leapfrog to the assumption that I’m no strong contender when it comes to seeking jobs since I can no longer recall every biblical quote studied in religious education, despite achieving an A – but you’d be wrong.
Yes, I did once memorise the periodic table so that I could pass in science. I was able to memorise and recite an essay worth of conversation in French so that I could pass my French speaking exam. What I want to stress is that are two keywords here that need to be highlighted – memorise and pass. In school we are fundamentally taught that if we are able to memorise information, then we will pass our exams, supposedly increasing our chances of a successful future. When applying for university, our grades (with exceptions) are what determine where we go or if we will get accepted at all.
Now, don’t misinterpret my words – I’m vastly grateful for the free education system within this country. I’m beyond grateful for the gift of being educated, taught how to read, write and solve mathematical sums – an ability that is often taken for granted. Moreover, the issue I’m striving to address is that grades are often perceived as a reflection of a person and their value. Grades have the ability to limit your possibilities and the career path you choose.
I’m a writer, aspiring to make writing my full-time job – but I don’t have a degree. I have found that countless writing opportunities with big names require degrees, something I don’t have and don’t believe it should keep me from achieving my dream career.
The message I’m attempting (and possibly failing) to deliver here is that if you’re truly talented at something, but you don’t have the grades or degree to be accepted by an employer to pursue it as a career – do not give up. Grades should not define your worth. If you remain persistent, then you will find a way thrive.
Society holds harsh standards of requiring grades to pursue something you’re potentially already skilled at. I understand that there are exceptions such as jobs within the medical industry and other sensitive sectors, however, I strongly stand by my point that grades should not determine how far you should able to go and how much you can achieve in life.
By Hannah Goulding