Ask a Senior: Do freshmen grades matter?


Nathaniel Martin

“People keep saying that freshman grades don’t matter. Is that true?”

-C.C., Freshman


Dear C.C.,

Do freshman grades matter? In one word: Yes. In two: Oh, yes.

You enter high school with a clean slate, grade-wise, and it’s really important to start on the right foot. Getting good grades is like staying in shape. It’s easy to say I’ll try next year, but rarely does that happen. It’s really important to begin high school with the mindset that you’re here to succeed, not to take it easy.

When I was a freshman, I had a TA in my English 1H – Interdisciplinary class who was a senior. Eventually, we asked her if freshman grades mattered. She nodded her head earnestly and said that if she had taken freshman year seriously her GPA would have been 0.5 higher than what it was. That could potentially be the difference between getting into the college of your dreams and being denied.

This doesn’t mean that if you get a single point off your math homework you did at 12:30 a.m. because you were busy cramming for a history test and editing an English paper, all after coming home at 9 p.m. because you went out to celebrate your sister’s birthday is going to wreck your life. It’s important to set priorities, and sometimes family and friends needs to outrank school work. Your three point Spanish homework isn’t as important as spending quality time with your parents or siblings.

That being said, don’t blow everything off. Your grades are more important than watching The Office for the eighth time in five weeks, even if it’s a “bonding experience” with your fifth grade brother. If you have a test Friday morning, but your posse is hitting up McDank’s Thursday at 11, it’s probably a good idea to stay home and study. Or better yet, go to bed! Studying past 10:30 p.m. isn’t going to help much. But that’s just my opinion. I digress.

Looking back on my freshman year, I see grades that I’m happy with. But I know that if I worked a little bit harder, they would be better. My B+ in science might’ve been an A-. I can’t change that now. Bottom line, your grades matter. They matter quite a bit. It’s important to start your time in high school with good grades.

Don’t get into the mindset that everything will work out like a Hallmark or Disney movie. Put the effort into your classes and get the best grade you’re capable of. You’ll thank yourself later as you open up your acceptance letters.

~ The Seniors