Do College Grades Affect Future Self-Esteem?

Many students tend to feel worthless if they score bad grades in college or fail to secure entry into prestigious learning institutions. Most students who know how to deal with the problem of grades check the reviews of the best essay writing platforms from StudyMoose Reviews, and end up with good grades. Those who continuously get bad grades, and also fail to seek help, end up having low self-esteem. They even shy away from discussions that touch on academic matters. In fact, some even see themselves as being doomed in the future because of the bad grades. This is because of the societal perspective that rates students according to how well they score in academics, without considering other qualifications and capabilities. 

Dictionary.com defines self-esteem as a “realistic respect for or favorable impression of oneself.” Different people have different levels of self-esteem, and it’s quite unfortunate that most students tend to suffer from low self-esteem. Addressing the issue of low self-esteem is key, as it may be a sign of mental illness like depression and can be suicidal if not handled properly. Such students often face difficulties in dealing with life situations and making critical decisions.  

How do grades and college performance affect students’ self-esteem?

The main cause of low self-esteem, according to Jennifer Crocker’s 2002 study at the University of Michigan, is academic performance. Students consider themselves to have self-worth if they perform well in academics. External validation of performance leads to more low self-esteem compared to internal validation. External validation is however more common, as it somehow encourages hard work. 


The fear of getting low grades is a constant obstacle in the students’ attempt to acquire knowledge in college. Students who fail to perform well in external validation have a higher probability of falling into depression and even resorting to drugs and substance abuse. Class divides occur amongst the students as some are ranked as high performers while others are poor performers. The result is the alienation of poor performers, which is the driving force towards behaviors such as drugs and substance abuse. 

To avoid being judged by poor grades, students avoid venturing into more challenging fields, and simply stick to those that they deem easy. This hinders creativity and encourages laxity among students. Others who take challenging tasks know better to seek professional essay writing services for their academic work, in a bid to score high grades. 

The A-F grading system can also be blamed for suppressing new discoveries in terms of people’s ways of thinking in the professional world. This is because students who score high grades get too contented to learn further and explore their hidden talents and capabilities beyond what formal education has to offer.

Solution to this problem

There is a possibility of students working hard in academics without necessarily falling into depression and drug abuse. They can find alternative ways of proving their self-worth rather than through academic performance. It is true that poor college grades can interfere with a student’s future self-esteem, but that should never be the case. Instead, as a student, it is possible to make an impact in your student community and beyond without using your grades as the basis. Your thoughts and opinions as an individual matter a lot, so it should boost your self-esteem to know that you are important because of how unique you are. Realizing that you possess inherent self-worth is enough to counter the challenge that poor grades may pose your way.

Another way of dealing with the challenge is by counting on your personal accomplishments as an individual, without factoring in the issue of grades. This differs from one student to another, as people have different priorities in life. Just the fact that a student managed to secure the chance to join college is weighty enough to boost his/her self-esteem, since it’s a sign of hard work.

Flourishing interpersonal relationships is another way of countering the problem of low self-esteem caused by bad grades. You can take pride in your relationships with your close family members, close friends, and even your significant other. If you are always willing to sacrifice for the sake of others, then you can take pride in being selfless. There are people who get good grades in academic essays but have broken relationships and miserable social lives. 

Adoption of free-school curriculum with no grading system is best way for governments to deal with the increase in grade-based depression and suicide cases. Finding creative and accommodative way of teaching subjects to students with difficulties in those subjects is a creative approach that schools can also adopt to help with the issue. 

It is therefore worth noting that a student should not let bad grades stand in his/her way to success. On the priority scale, your physical, social, mental and psychological well-being comes first, then your grades can follow. As a matter of fact, eliminating the grading system is a step up the ladder of ensuring reforms in the education sector. Though it’s just one of the many problems hindering reforms, dealing with it can help motivate teachers as well as students. They can freely perform to their best, without the fear of being flunked or fired for bad grades.

 
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