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The “Real” Purpose of High School
March 8, 2023
Amanda Li, Grade 10

It’s another Friday after school, and you’re staring at the endless to-do list of projects, tests, and homework. You reach for your phone only to see the pictures of your classmates out enjoying the start of a fun-filled weekend. Although you may find it challenging to pull long study sessions on a Saturday night while others are out having fun, disregarding academic importance in your high school years has its consequences.

According to a study conducted by The New York Times, academic grades struggle to assess qualities such as creativity, teamwork skills, and social intelligence. In other words, having stellar grades in high school does not necessarily determine your future career excellence. Furthermore, when students are asked what they prioritize in their current work-life balance, many expressed their belief that teenage years should be filled with fun experiences and memories. With social media involved in every aspect of daily life, people become obsessed with giving consistent updates on their plans, what they ate, and the fun highlights of their lives. Consequently, others feel as though they are wasting their teen years away. Although living in the present rather than the future is important, not taking time to develop the skills needed for post-secondary education is a decision many regret in later life.

The fact remains that receiving low grades will limit students' options for potential educational opportunities—the pathway to the future will narrow. This means that maintaining high academic performance will likely lead to higher achievements in exceptional performance in any given task. As such, higher grades tend to lead to improved self-esteem, increased productivity, and a well-rounded lifestyle. For instance, a high school student who has a full timetable of courses, homework, and extracurriculars on a daily basis may feel stressed by their present life, but may eventually use the skills they have worked hard to develop to successfully pursue the passion of their choice. On the contrary, a student who chooses to waste away all their leisure time may have a relaxed life at the moment, but find themselves struggling to rise in the social hierarchy in their adult years.

All things considered, students who take action for their future goals have a higher chance at lifelong success compared to those who do not. Of course, a C+ does not mean the student is headed for a dismal future, and a 100% does not automatically guarantee success. High school grades, after all, measure one thing—how well the student has mastered a particular curriculum. Whether you spend Friday nights cramming for tests or participating in extracurriculars, the most important factor in success is dedication and hard work.