Are My Grades Bad? Am I A Bad Student?

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theanswerseeker | 21:56 Sun 25th Jul 2021 | Jobs & Education
8 Answers
I have just graduated high school and will be attending Penn State in the fall. My GPA in high school was roughly a 3.8 weighted, my SAT was a 1400, and my ACT was a 24.

My parents and I are frequently at odds over academics. I feel that I've worked my hardest, however, they keep telling me that I'm slacking and that I should've gotten a 4.2. They're saying that because I'm Indian, I'm competing against all the other Indian kids with 4.2s and 4.3s, and because of that, my chances at a good college are very slim. They said something about how every college aims for diversity, and so because of this, I'm competing with other Indian kids, who they said are so much better than me in terms of academics and overall achievements.

My parents also told me that Penn State was above my reach in terms of my academics and extracurriculars in high school, and that the only reason I got in was because my dad was an alumni.

Like I said, I felt that I tried my best. To be fair, I may have fallen into the Sophomore slump, which caused me to get a C in Honors Chemistry, however, for the most part, I still feel that I worked my hardest. Senior year I also fell into a bit of a slump, because I was a fully remote student during the pandemic. I also got a C in AP Physics C: Mechanics. I only have two C's in my high school record, the rest are A's and B's. This makes me feel like an inferior loser compared to all the other winners. I've even gotten suicidal ideations because I've felt that getting a good GPA is just not happening regardless of how much effort I put into my notes and assignments, and that I've done nothing but the stupid, useless stuff that everybody does in high school (basically, nothing concrete or meaningful, since my GPA is a 3.8).

Thoughts? And feel free to be honest, because honesty is what I need here.


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I'm afraid you have probably asked this on the wrong site. This is British. I am a retired teacher, but don't understand all the stuff about U.S.A. grades etc.. It does seem that you don't understand exactly what really hard, scholastic work entails. You can put loads of effort into unimportant things, but miss out the bullet-point academic hits.

From what I read, you are not achieving to what you consider to be the norm, but mainly A & B grades seem fine by me. All the things you consider you have'failed' in are c - this is an acceptable pass in the UK.

I'm pretty lousy at maths and physics (now retired English/Art/History teacher) - but v. good at other subjects - that's normal, my granddaughter is the same. So - your problem seems to be that you expect to be good at everything. Wrong! Just cope with the things you don't care about (you seem to be doing that) and put everything into excelling in the subjects you like.

Everyone else is just the same. Stop the depression - you are doing fine, it seems. Only Leonardo da Vinci was excellent at everything!

You are you you are not your dad.
You might have difficulty in getting meaningful answers on this site because it's based in the UK (and, to the best of my knowledge, we don't have any regular US contributors here at the moment).

The terms 'GPA', 'SAT' and 'ACT' simply don't exist within the British education system (and I suspect that many people on this site will need to google 'sophomore', as that's not a term used here either). So much of what you've written in your post will be largely meaningless to people reading it here in the UK. (Sorry!).

As long as you're doing the best that you can though, forget about grades and start enjoying the social life at university. I used to teach Year 13 (= US Grade 12) students and one of the key things I kept reminding them when they were considering embarking upon their university studies is that university is meant to be FUN. Yes, there's got to be a bit of hard work too but, even if you achieve a First Class Honours degree, you'll have wasted several years of your life if you haven't ENJOYED them. Stop worrying so much about your grades (and, in particular, whether you're doing better or worse than other students) and try to RELAX. A night out with your mates is just as valuable as a night slaving over equations ;-)
You say you will be attending Penn State so you must have been accepted ergo your grades etc. were good enough. Have a good summer and enjoy your first semester
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Well just in general, I think being a student is itself a skill. I think I'm a bad student who is inferior to everyone around him.
You've been accepted by Penn State...therefore you are EQUAL to all those others starting with you. Good luck!
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But my father was also an alumni, so I'm not sure. I've heard stuff about how underachieving kids get into good colleges because they were the child of an alumni. I feel undeserving of this.
just go, and do your best. They'll be fully aware that Covid has made a mess of studying and passing exams.
If you were my child, I'd be proud of you. Your confidence maybe needs a boost- but if you are doing the best you can- nobody can expect more.

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