top of page

How bad are bad grades?

I've always been taught that grades matter. I have to get the grades to get into the school, and if they are really good grades then I will even get a scholarship! This mentality does not leave after high school if you're an architecture student. They say Cs and Ds get degrees... but do they get you into architecture grad schools?

One of my most vivid memories of getting a bad grade was in my junior year of high school. As I've written in my first blog post, I was not gifted in math nor science no matter how hard I tried. For pre-calculus I got tutoring, I did all the homework and studying I could, and still always came up short. And that is just the worst feeling...

When it came time for my final exam for pre-calc, I had spent hours and hours over the course of multiple weeks trying to prepare myself for this exam. To be honest, I still didn't feel prepared walking into that exam. After an hour and a half, and being the last to turn in my exam, I knew I had completely bombed it. I made it out of the classroom and out of the building before bursting into tears and calling my best friend and telling her that I won't be able to go to college now that I will be getting a D in Pre-Calc (I realize now this was an exaggeration).

But hey guess what: I still got into a great school and they give me a scholarship! So bad grades don't seal your fate I guess, right?

Well, I still put a lot of pressure on myself for grades. As is common among architecture students, I've spent plenty of late nights in the studio that drag on into the next day. Specifically in this past semester, I overloaded myself. After production week of my final studio project, I still had a very full finals week ahead of me. I had two major finals on the same day. For one of the finals, I had been preparing for months to take the exam. My friend and I would get together for an hour three days a week to review the lessons. This exam was even open note, and I prepared the most beautiful and organized binder of printed out notes which I had read cover to cover multiple times. I felt extremely prepared for this exam. After 3 long hours, I turned in my exam and immediately got my grade back: D-. Talk about deja vu.

Shaking from trying to hold back frustrated tears again, I shook my professors hand and thanked her for the class, and bolted out of the building. I went home, laid faced down in my bed and just cried. But I couldn't just stay there and cry for long. I had another final in 45 minutes. So I had to pull myself together. I did some yoga (everyone should do yoga), ordered my favorite sandwich from Bagel and Deli because I deserved it, and then went to my next exam.

Again, I thought I was well prepared for this exam too. But, long story short, I'm not always the best listener and I studied the wrong material. So again, D. This was just not my day.

I went home and decided to pretend it was night time and finally get some decent sleep. Honestly, I woke up feeling a lot better. But still, knowing that I have these 2 scars on my transcript worries me. People always say grades don't matter--and I believe that they don't matter the most--but they've got to matter somewhat, right? I guess I'll find out when I apply for grad schools this next semester...!

bottom of page