Why a 4.0 GPA matters

A senior athlete just got a 4.0 GPA in his last semester before graduating. He was on academic probation as a freshman.

On the one hand, getting a 4.0 GPA doesn’t matter at all. It doesn’t matter that you memorized a few more facts about world history than the person with a 3.8 GPA.

On the other hand, seeing yourself go from academic probation to a 4.0 GPA is a powerful lesson. It changes how you see yourself: “What else could I get better at?”

Growth mindset“, the belief that you can change your qualities through your own effort, has become cliche in education circles. And yet if you listen closely, every day you’ll hear someone refer to things they’re not good at:

“I’m just not an outdoors person.” … “I’m just not a math person.” … “I’m too socially awkward to talk to people.” … “I’m not very confident.”

Are you sure you couldn’t be?


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