My freshman year of college I had a 3.94 GPA. I had all A’s and two A-‘s.
But if I am being completely honest, that doesn’t mean as much as people think. Because there’s more context to it. And I don’t want to say any of this to gloat, because there are still people who graduate with a 4.0, and there are people who work way harder than I do–which is essentially the topic of this post.
Let me first give some context. My freshman year of college was easier than I expected because:
- I came in with 5 AP exams (4 of which was self-taught) so a lot of the hard work that I missed out on my freshman year at Villanova was shifted to my high school years. And that made sense because I was chronically stressed my Junior year of high school.
- Villanova School of Business is known for having a significantly easy 1st year (relative to STEM).
- My second semester I went to Singapore to study abroad, which meant I only took 4 courses rather than the 6 I am taking right now.
I barely remember studying for any of my classes. My final exams went and came in a blur as if I didn’t even take them.
But now, here I am, a sophomore.
Taking a full course load of 19 credits, 6 courses.
A lot of this content is new to me, so it’s not like I can skimp by without actually studying. Last semester, I definitely struggled. Near the end of the Fall semester, I was constantly calculating how my grades fell within each course, hoping that my GPA wouldn’t fall too heavily.
So here’s the dilemma I’ve been having with myself as I approach course selections for next year: should I try to succeed with less, or struggle with more?
A lot of people would consider a 4.0 GPA “successful”
But as I said at the beginning of this post: we need more context.
I can get a 4.0 GPA. A lot of people can. Granted, the best way to do that would also have an asterisk next to that GPA, because that would mean I’d have to drop my humanities courses (which I love, but, it’s really hard to get an “A” in a class where the central thesis is “what is God” or “what does it mean to be Human?”)
But what if I choose to overload every semester, and continue to challenge myself with 6 courses. I’d sacrifice my time to do other things. I want to write more. I want to do more podcasting. I want to create content for YouTube and magic. I want to read more.
There’s nothing wrong with taking more courses and challenging yourself.
At the end of my 4 years of university, if anything, I hope I can come out with not only a diploma but also the ability to say I took interesting courses and challenged myself intellectually.
But the asterisk is this: what am I sacrificing to do that?
Is it better to succeed with less, or struggle with more?
At some point, I think I need to realize I have to level up and go to the next level. I can’t stay in this stage, because if I stay in this stage, I know I’ll “succeed”, but I also know I won’t grow.
The more I struggle, the more I learn.
I definitely think I’ve been too complacent. With my time. With my energy. With my resources.
It’s time to kick it into high gear…
But after I come back from Spring Break 🙂
One thought on “Succeed with too little or struggle with too much”
Struggle with more…it’s almost as important as rising above it all to make a decision as which course to steer…something you do very well Jeff!
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