Yes, sometimes, grades matter. However, most of the time they are nothing but mere digits inscribed on paper.
Last month, I attended a seminar on how to prepare for the civil services examination by the 2017 batch AIR-4 Saumya Pandey which was conducted by Next IAS in Karol Bagh.
While answering the queries of the UPSC aspirants, Saumya ma’am mentioned that she also used to read the monthly magazine of Made Easy Group [Parent branch of Next IAS] that covers the current affairs related to the UPSC examination.
Hence, the organisers of the seminar decided to provide one copy of that monthly magazine to each and every student present over there, at the end of the seminar, as a token of remembrance, which was in fact for publicity purposes for sure.
When the seminar got over, we were asked to wait for a couple of minutes if we wanted to get the magazines for free. But there were only two copies of the magazine available with them at the venue. So they called up their employee to get the required number of magazines in the shortest time possible from the stocks.
They had only two copies of the magazine with them at that time, nevertheless, they decided to give those magazines to the students sitting over there right at the moment. But the dilemma was as to whom those two pieces of magazines should be given to.
In order to solve this conundrum, they simply asked all the students to raise their hands if they behoved to be someone as per the demand of question, which were as follows:
Did any of you score more than 90% in engineering? (Only one hand was up.)
Did any of you score more than 90% in humanities? (Only one hand was up.)
And finally, they both were given the magazines. At that time, I wished I too had scored 9+ SGPA in the first year of my college.
My friend and I both had a common question in our minds – Humare liye kya? (What for us?) At least everyone should have been asked a question and whosoever would answer, could have got the magazines. We did get the magazine, but after waiting for the next 30 minutes.
This above instance may be the rarest of rare cases and of less significance. My point here is not about books which were given to those two students, rather the point to be noted here is that there are times when we are not even asked to showcase our talent, let alone getting the chance. People judge our level of intelligence on the basis of marks or grades that we obtain in the examinations. Students with higher grades are generally considered very intelligent and sharp-minded, even if they could be nothing but parrots. This sort of mindset is very much embedded in the Indian society in general and parents in particular.
On a serious note:
1. Grades matter when you miss out to get the admission in the college of your dreams because of a few percentage. [I could have made into one of the top colleges of Delhi University, had my chemistry paper not messed everything. However, I am a happy Satyawatian.]
2. Grades matter when you are rejected by a company for a job of your dreams owing to your poor academic credentials.
3. Grades matter when you see tears in the eyes of your parents because of your low performance. Period. Grades matter when you are insulted and let down by others due to your poor academic performance.
On a more serious note.
4. Grades don’t matter most of the time.
The current Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi was not a school or university topper. In fact, most of the leaders were not that much academically genius and brilliant. But we still remember leaders like MK Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Junior and many more great personalities because of their work, not by their grades.
Even if you are a school or university topper, it doesn’t necessarily ensure you a better life. You may get a good job and luxurious lifestyle, but life, in general, has to be dealt with many things in which grades hardly play any role. When you are upset, depressed and completely shattered, grades would never ever come to your rescue. Your grades may give you the appreciation of people for a while, but they can’t buy you their pure love.
You don’t need grades to deal with 99% of the issues and problems in life. Your grades can’t help you to tackle with pain and pleasure, joy and agony, success and failure and numerous other things.