Afrie Irham

Afrie Irham

Why I stop caring about CGPA

Why I stop caring about CGPA

Subscribe to my newsletter and never miss my upcoming articles

Listen to this article

Tl;dr  –  it doesn't matter for me.

Before I explain why I don't care about CGPA, I want to give out some context about where I came from. So please read the first few paragraphs before raging. ;)

When I was in high school, I cared a lot about good grades and examinations. And I did pretty well, I get "flying colors" for most of my major exams. All straight As from my primary school year until the very end of high school. I especially worked hard for the last one, the Malaysian Certificate of Education or in Malay "Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia", SPM.

I did all the past years questions, from MRSM trial to SBP trial  –  all of it. I love it, I felt like I'm the genius who knows everything, I was pretty humble though but I felt like I can do anything. I want to learn more complex physics, change the world with chemistry, and considering the holy grail of an Asian family career – becoming a Doctor. I started my "research" about universities, scholarships, high demand jobs that I am supposed to have because I was an "exceptional" student.

I started to apply for scholarship offers (read: tuition fee waiver) at Taylor's University and managed to secure the interview. My life seems to be on the right path. Until I was there.

I got insecure immediately after I look at the people there; others look way matured than me, wearing formal business attire with suits, shiny polished shoes, talking about their achievements in school, going all over the world for conferences, science fair, sports competition, and more. I feel like I was barely at their level. They were more confident, speaks English better, and more well-rounded students, I have no chance.

It crippled me down, I was only there for about 15 minutes and I already fucked up my insecurity, I felt like a failure. But fake it til you make it is all that I have in mind. I tried acting professional and it failed miserably. I stuttered when I speak, I couldn't explain myself when the interviewers asked me questions. I wasn't prepared because I have no idea what kind of career do I want in the future. I settled for Actuarial Science course for my answers because I thought I want to be an Actuary since I'm good at it and enjoyed doing math a lot.

And this self-esteem issue doesn't end here. After my SPM, I research a lot about scholarships, looking for opportunities while also learning more about the best careers that I need to have. I applied to a lot of scholarships, got 2 or 3 interviews out of it and that was it, up until today. I failed most of them and I'm glad now.

All of that teaches me that good grades don't matter, there's more to life than just grades.

Soon I secure a place for my studies at my local universities, I felt great because my expectations were lowered and it's the University of Malaya, no. 1 uni in Malaysia as they said. At this point, I still didn't give up. I am still actively looking for scholarships, bursaries, convertible loans, etc. But I failed, again. Didn't even secure any interviews.

But also at this time, I discovered Computer Science, and I started to consider it as my target for my Bachelor's degree. I watched a lot of YouTube videos about programming jobs, life as developers, and how some people got developer jobs without any formal education. And that's refreshing, I started to worry less about my grades and GPAs and focus more on my actual skills and knowledge.

I don't care if I don't score A for every subject anymore, I don't care if I barely pass. In fact, I would be much happier if I pass rather than getting As.

BUT  – this doesn't mean I neglect my studies, this doesn't mean I stopped learning.

This is just a way for me to clear out my mind and focus on the more important things other than just my grade. It just didn't matter for me anymore.

As you know, I'm a CS student which is a skill-based field. My ability to code and create functional apps or website is much valuable than 4.00 and I found out that the way you get a job in this field, or in any skill-based industry really, is by having a portfolio. A portfolio of the things that you develop or create. In fact, I don't even need a degree to get into this field, but that's another topic.

The reason I said I was glad that I didn't get any scholarship offers, or any financial help really, besides from my parents, is because some of my friends need to maintain their CPGA. They can't afford to not care about their grades. It will cost them money in some cases. If I am a scholar right now, I might still care about my grades and not focusing on my skills. That would be bad for me.

Thanks for reading.

 
Share this