With the final wave of midterms over and finals looming over us, it’s the time of year when grades are returned and people inevitably talk about how they are all doing oh so poorly. How is that possible? Is everyone at McMaster stupid? Are all the professors out to ensure none of us succeed? Oh wait, you got an 11 and you are worried about it dragging your 12s? Let me play you a sad song on the world’s smallest violin. Some of these people who complain about their near perfect grades seem so oblivious. To be fair, I understand that if you worked your tail off all year and just miss the all 12 mark, it is pretty frustrating. You have every right to be upset, but why don’t you think of the other student with an 8 average who just passed you? How does he feel? Obviously you have no moral obligation to make this lower achieving student feel good about his mark, but it’d be nice. Or at the very least not say something that makes them feel like shit.

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On the flip side, this does not mean this 8.0 individual can then go complain about it on Spotted @ Mac and make some obscene comment about snobby Health Science students. One, they’re not all snobby. That’s just rude and you’re making a very hasty generalization. Two, why don’t you use that person’s success to motivate yourself to try harder? Instead of trying to shift the blame to high achieving students, you should reflect on why you are not one of them.  At the end of the day, if you put forth your absolute best effort, and you end up with an eight average, there’s no shame in that.

And then there’s the average Joe who spends 20 hours studying for a midterm and gets a mediocre grade. I cannot even begin to imagine how annoying it is when your friend tells you he studied for an hour and got a 12. It probably does not help that he spend the entire week before explaining to you how screwed he was for the test and how he had not started studying yet. I would not blame you if you slapped him in the face.

Am I being hypocritical? Maybe a little. I think the difference though is that in my first example, the high achieving student earned the grade, whereas this other student just seems blessed with an impeccable brain. It comes down to the general belief that you get what you put into something.

Tl;dr: keep your head up, and keep it to yourself too.