Should students get extra credit for being good people?
The thought came to me while pondering over a lower-than-average midterm grade.
I suppose, right off the bat — no.
It would be impractical, subjective, and impossible to keep track of.
But the intent behind it, that of encouraging students to be more than their majors, is a problem that should be addressed.
Maintaining a good work-life balance in university can be hard, because sometimes choosing friends and fun feels like a choice against good grades and studying.
With a heavy workload and only 24 hours in a day, it feels like you must make sacrifices from “life” to succeed at “work.”
Building an impressive resume or application adds onto the pressure.
Should you join the fun interesting clubs, or the ones that will make you stand out to recruiters?
If the goal is the future, and something doesn’t seem to tangibly contribute to that future, then surely it can be sacrificed in the present.
The only problem is, it’s not healthy to only study and do nothing else. It seems obvious when written out, but many of us will put aside our own needs (like food, social interaction, or most commonly, sleep) just to study one more chapter, or write one more page.
It gets worse if that effort isn’t enough, and it’s much easier to think “I’m not smart enough,” rather than diving into the problems behind that low grade.
How many students take their finals while sleep deprived?
Cramming the night before is an old tradition at schools across the world, but studies have shown it can have a negative effect.
At first it may seem manageable, but soon, the effects of poor diet, stress, and not enough sleep begin to catch up, turning formerly easy tasks into sources of more stress and worry.
The problem with defining yourself by your academic ability, is that tests don’t take into account all the things that make you a person.
Though it would be nice, students don’t get extra credit for being a good friend, caring about the environment, or being a really good cook.
Once in a while, the chance comes up to showcase some other skills in your schoolwork, but most of the time, you read, remember, and apply the material – you can’t bake your way out of a physics final.
As students, school and studying are parts of our identities we can’t ignore, but it’s important to nurture all of yourself, not just the academic side. The life of a university student feels like a precarious choice between academic success and personal happiness, leaving many to wonder which one to choose. As a result, it is important to recognize that a balance is not only possible – it is necessary.
Taking time away from studying to do things you genuinely enjoy is a key to preventing academic burnout and can lead to a clearer calmer mind when you do sit down to study.
Seriously, marks are important, but so is your happiness.
If you’ve been devoting all your time to studying for midterms, an hour away from your textbooks won’t hurt.
That hour might not lead to extra credit, but you might be surprised by how good it feels.