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#1 When Grades Trump Passion

January 3, 2008

When it comes to choosing what modules to study, what would be your choice? Passion, or grades? This is a burning question that continues to baffle and frustrate university students the world over, and I, as a liberal arts undergrad, am of no exception. The mental debate begins here. In a merit-based, results-driven educational system, it is tragic to know that most people, after a hapless semester full of wrong choices and wrong turns, missed lectures and heaps of what-the-hell-am-I-reading notes, would quickly run over to the safe side of the road, where getting an A meant flashing abit of thigh at the sleazy prof or clipping a $500-dollar bill in the paper, NO more like, relatively more laidback and benevolent profs and manageable workload, as opposed to the brutal side where students only come out, bloody scratches and wounds all over their previously so well preserved ego and self-esteem.

I am tempted to take courses which are of the “easy to get an A” kind, rather than the “I have to grovel on my knees till they bleed but still get a miserable B” ones, as university urban legends have it. Ask any senior and he/she will start to dish out horror stories about certain courses and sweetly coax kindly advise you to take other courses. Of course, they are being really kind, who would want to see their still-innocent freshmen dive into a sea of bad grades and have them being really resentful with them for not telling them earlier?

That aside, I can’t help but feel a little disheartened that after a while, students lose their spirit to experiment and discover themselves — isn’t college THE place to discover who you really are? — and roll over to the dark side where Master CAP reigns over everyone. When that happens, you, the lone brave ranger, CAN of course, choose to stick to your big guns and march your own jolly good way and start blazing new paths with your rusty old machete, and with passion, the grades will come through. It can’t be a myth if people keep saying that. But most of the LESS adventurous peeps, will inadvertently spoil the market by flooding the courses they have a flair in — that is not to say that these people shouldn’t attend courses which they are naturally good at — and sweep up all the As and leave those who are less talented but probably equally, if not more, passionate souls feeling utterly discouraged when they realize that passion alone won’t get you anywhere!

 Of course, my post here is not to tell you that passion is no longer in fashion and you should, like the rest of the sheep people, take ‘safe’ courses and not take unneccessary risks which you may live to regret. Neither am I saying that you should run away gleefully with your fiery passions and climb every mountain with nary a harness or a helmet. NO. At the end of the day, whatever choice you make, learn from the mistakes (yowch) and never let your obsession over grades quench the flames of your ardour and love for any subject.

Enjoy your new semester, and try not to turn your lecture theater into a battlefield. Mehhh. o_o;;

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