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Diana Vilic

Blogger Visual Marketing Student Photographer Coffee Addict

Thursday, January 19, 2017

How to not stress out about college #Unfiltered

  • 9:33:00 PM
  • by

As a disclaimer, I'm going on a rant right now. My wording may suck, I could follow proper grammar structure and my spelling is botched. But frankly, it's my blog...Hopefully, you find this rant enjoyable to read, because I actually love writing them.

*If you're too lazy to read the paragraph, see the video above*

It's no lie I was an overachiever. I was the kid who never let my parents help me with anything. I'd climb on counters if I had to get something off a shelf, I would look up things if I had a question and I never really needed my parents help with homework. I graduated High School with a 3.5. All perfect A's, a few B's (in gym mostly...) and one whopping C+ from Latin (dead language...who cares?). The point is, I seemed to have everything together. No one thought I ever stressed out about school. But I did. All the time. I remember being in first grade and hiding my bad spelling test grades for my parents. There was never a time in my life when grades didn't matter to me...until I went to college. (You know, where grades actually do matter.) <---spoiler alert. They don't. (Also disclaimer, I'm sitting at a pretty nice 3.8 and three honor societies, so I'm one to talk.)

Background Info: 

My university has 4 levels of classes- like most schools. Each level is associated with the academic status you're at. (Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior) Freshman have 100 level classes and seniors have 400 level classes. However, anyone can take a 100-300 level class. Other than a few pre-req's nothing holds you back from taking it. The only level that matters is 400 where you need to achieve senior status.
As a result of this, many of my classes have freshman in them. Little sidenote for freshman afraid to take a high level class: No one cares if you're a freshman in a 300 level class as long as you do your fair share of the group project.

The Rant

One of the biggest things I see in incoming freshman is this skewed view of success. We see it as this black and white thing. You're successful or you're not. You get the grade you want or you don't. From grade 1 to my Sophomore year of college I was the same way. If I wanted to be someone, I had to be amazing at school. Nothing else I did mattered. That reality is complete bullshit. Everything else you do matters.

When I was a freshman, I once spent over 97 hours on a paper about dental care inequality. It was over 10 pages and had 2 pages of perfectly apa cited citations.  When I was a sophomore I spent 10 hours on just the presentation of my macro group project. When I was a junior in college, I spent 2 hours putting together a hard copy of a marketing report with letter head and paper copies of all the materials. Guess which one I enjoyed the most? The marketing report. Because I didn't care about the grade I got. I just loved what I was doing. I was so excited to put my major to the test and be creative. I completely lit up in the way that was usually reserved for when I was a photographer.

Some of you are probably sitting here, reading this and thinking you don't care about grades because college means nothing to you. You probably have it all paid off. This is where you, my dear reader are wrong. I'm paying my way through school. Me. Not my parents, not my family, and not private loan companies. I work full time and I go to school full time. I view my education as an investment.

However, I stopped caring about the grades. Because unless you have a competitive GPA (above a 3.7) no employer cares what your GPA was. They don't care if your accounting professor loved you or if you were the best discussion board bullshitter ever. They simply don't care. Employers care about the skills you learned during your time in college. They care if you can draft a marketing report, they care if you're creative, they care if you're willing to learn. Employers don't give a rats ass about your college grades, as long as you passed.

So other than the scholarships and discounts, why are you stressing about your grades?

You're not going to get turned down for a job because you got a C in macro. No one is going to laugh you out of an interview because you forgot who Freud was during your psych final. Grades are simply societies way of determining who you were from ages 6 to 18. It's not how your employer is going to view you. In some instances, being top of your class helps you stand out. But having soft skills are much much better than anything your transcript can highlight.

When you're in college, look at it as an experience. *Insert OITNB Clip*

When we're 18, its so easy to look at everything and see it as we're changing the course of our future. The ACT's and SAT's made it seem like if we failed a test, we couldn't get into a good college and then we were failures in life. I've come to learn, that isn't the system. Everything you do is temporary. It's just an experience.

When you enter those classrooms, you are not fighting for a grade. The curve, although intimidating will not end you. It will not put a halt to your degree or your future. Your classmates are not your competitors, them succeeding will not make you a failure. As you open your book, you are not absorbing knowledge only to forget it by the next test. You will not fail at life because you cannot remember what a contra-asset is.  This path may feel hard. You may want to quit. You will be overwhelmed. Please see this for what it is. An experience. When you enter those halls, you are learning skills. You are networking with classmates and you are finding yourself. Senior year you will not be the person you were your freshman year. You will never fail because you failed an assignment or a course.

Take this as the investment it is. Trust me, the University I go to costs an arm and a leg and it's hard to pay for it. I know the financial stress. But I wouldn't be anywhere else, doing anything else. Please view your education as lessons and experiences. Not a test or a grade. Please view every class as how can I take something from this.

You're going to burn out if you say success is black and white. You're never going to get anything from your major if you think the only way to be successful is to get a 4.0. Getting a 4.0 doesn't mean you're qualified for a job. I'm just going to say it again, getting a 4.0 doesn't mean you're qualified for a job. It means you're kick ass at tests. How many marketers need to be kick ass at tests?

You know what marketers need? They need to be creative. They need to be social. You need to be able to make everyone feel special. Marketers need to be tough skinned and they need to be creative. They don't need to be able to recite Mcbeth. They don't need to be an expert at stats or chemistry. Marketers need to be interested in the world. They need to be able to multi-task and work hard. Marketers need to be witty and they need to care about the world around them. They need to be willing to adapt and they need to be observant. Find me a test that puts all of that into equation.

You will not fail at life because of your college degree. It doesn't matter where you got it, or how you got it, or how long it took you to get it. It just matters that you got it and you got something from it.

You don't go into college looking to be a grade. You go into it to learn how to be the things you want to be. Please realize success isn't a 4.0.

Someone who had a 4.0 for two years. It's not all it's cracked up to be. I promise.

Marketing student with a focus in visual marketing with a addiction to coffee.


  1. preach it girl! I agree, grades arent everything!
    Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥


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