Not sure about many of you, but I've always been at the top of my class. Cross that, I've been within the top few percents of the class. There were 1 or 2 people who could do better than me, but it took them that much more effort. Nope, throughout high school I got by brilliantly and still had time to do lots of other things (explaining my countless hobbies).
Of course I'm not about to sit here and type out all the reasons I'm awesome, we all already know that ^^. Thing now is I've noticed the differences in people's values of their grades now that I'm in university. I always knew there were people who didn't care much for their marks, as long as it was good enough, but most of the people who were at the top of the class certainly valued their averages. Not once in my life have I heard myself, or many of the people I labelled competition, say, "oh, it's an 75, it's good enough". In fact the joke was always that anything below an 80 didn't exist.
However now, faced with the increasing struggles of first year Life Sciences, I've discovered that sometimes a 75 can be considered pretty fair. In fact many people would be delighted in getting one.
Perhaps for most people, all throughout high school, the marks were just for entrance to university. Now that they're here, a pass is all they need.
For others I think it was their parents who pushed for them to get the high marks, and perhaps that just never became part of their own values.
Some people don't need a high average anymore, they just need to get involved and meet people in order to be set.
For for me, and some of the more traditional people I know, it seems the value of marks has been infused into our brain. Logically speaking, I just need 70% in everything to graduate and be able to fine some lab technician job, but that neither pays well nor is very appealing to my nature. In the end now, it's not even about my future. Yes, I need a 3.7 and up to find good research placements and get a good head start, but that's not why I want a 3.7 and that's why I will not settle for only a 3.7.
All those years I may not have been the best, and I don't strive to be perfect, but I know I'm good. Some people have come here without doing a shred of work, some people have come here by studying day and night. I'm a bit of the first, but competitive enough to put some work into the big projects just to make sure I win in the endless competition against my peers. Yes, I'm competitive, but that's what makes things fun, winning is something I believe one ought to be proud of, it's been programmed into our brains. And out of the many competitions in high school I wanted to make sure I wasn't at the bottom of any of them. So I didn't give 100% of my effort into every project or every test, I had a life, I had hobbies, I went out with friends. Because whether I want to admit it or not, in high school having a social life is important, and every teenaged mind wants to have a reputation for something. And so I just used my 'natural talents' to get by easily.
But now in university, having 'natural talent' is no longer enough, and luckily I am one of few to realize that. So I know with a bit of work I can make it back to the top, maybe not the very top (I do still need my hobby time), but at least not just 'above average'. I know a 4.0 is so easily possible, and so I should pursue it. Having a big social life is no longer the most important in my mind, I've easily grew out of that. Social as I can be, I am also easily socially satisfied. And all in all, a simple life can be just as fulfilling as one full of adventure.
So while people still decide to rely on what natural abilities they have, I have decided I will give up a few things here and there to learn more. I finally understand that I don't want to know I can get a 4.0; I want to have a 4.0.