Unlike my friends, I finished my undergraduate degree in just 2.5 years. And I didn’t just graduate. I graduated with a perfect 4.0 GPA. I also did research for a year, which, by the way, was an optional thing to do, and so I graduated as a Research Scholar. I had a pretty gold stole and a medal on me on graduation day. There I was, in December 2013, as a class of 2015, sitting amongst my seniors, getting called for the highest honor too – summa cum laude.
And here I am now, two years later, reflecting on what I’ve faced after graduation. You know how they say your GPA matters? Well let me assure you – yes, it does. In my case, you probably think that I would have an easy time answering questions during interviews or from curious people about my academic life. If you do think so, then you’re far from being correct.
And it’s pretty funny actually because you know what? Questions regarding GPA are the ones I want to deal with the least, because surprisingly, whenever someone asked me, “What’s your GPA?” 4.0 would be the last thing that would come out of my mouth. I’d usually answer with, “it’s pretty good.”
Now here is the real truth: people really are not easily satisfied. Because they would ask again, “what’s it?”
And no matter how hard I’d try to dodge the question, it just would not work. In the end, I would finally say, “it’s a 4.”
I’ve seen mixed reactions from people followed by, “4 out of 4?” And I’d nod.
Some people were amazed. Some were confused. Some just labeled me as a genius, which is something I do not see myself as.
Then they’d figure out how I finished everything in 2.5 years and never took any summer classes. And they’d ask, “how on earth did you do it?” or “what did you do in college?”
I seriously think I spent more time strolling around HEB than reading my notes or textbooks. Believe me, I wasn’t the best student around. And I did have a life, guys. I got lost at libraries on campus all the time because frankly, I only went there for the computers on the first floor. I invested little to no time at the library studying because as what I said earlier, I didn’t study that much. Yet I did get the best grades in my classes. God knows why.
Anyways, my point is that – I’ve found it ironic how I feel bad whenever someone asks me about my GPA. I worked for it, so why should I feel bad, right? But it’s not as easy as it seems in reality. Apparently GPA is one of those really good things that you really want, but once you have it, you realize you’re too modest to tell others about it. Oh the irony.
Now if you ask me if I regret getting it, I’d definitely say no. Because at the same time I make others feel bad, I also gain an instant respect from my colleagues, friends, even strangers who know about it. So yes, hard work does pay off and is worth it.