A few weeks ago I completely messed up a physics test and I felt horrible. I got home, went to bed and I just felt like crying. But I didn’t. My family was at home and my mother had made dinner. Everyone sat around the table and we ate. I don’t remember exactly, but I felt happy again. The bad feeling I had gotten, because of my bad grade, faded like snow before the sun.

A week after I aced another test and, of course, I felt amazing. Nothing could bring me down. But that day everyone at home seemed irritated by the tiniest things. Somehow that brought me down.

Grades aren’t the only factor for happiness or success. They become so important because we make them important. Success or happiness have various of definitions, but ultimately they are what we define them to be. So, if being successful means to have a degree, then that is your definition. Another person’s definition could be that having a nice house or car means being successful. As I said, it is what you make it to be.

Therefore, as the title says, grades do not define you. Why? Because they do not represent your intellect at all! Grades are kind of a temporary picture of how well you know the material. Nothing more. That’s why I think it’s funny that grades determine our future.

But I’m not here to devalue the concept of grades. I just want you to see what I see. Grades aren’t everything. Yes, working hard and getting good grades is wonderful. Yes, there’s nothing wrong with you if you feel down when you mess up a test. But you should not think that grades are everything in your life. You are much more than what your grades make you look like. You are not your grades.

You are a determined, hardworking person. You are a friend, a student, a family member. Do not let grades, teachers or other students let you think you’re not worth it. Work hard for what you want, but don’t let it be a big deal when it doesn’t go the way you want it to right away.

By: Zeinab Nosrati

Zeinab is a 17 year old student from the Netherlands. She is currently in high school and wants to study medical school at Erasmus University Rotterdam or Global Law at Tilburg University. Her dream profession is to become a researcher and teacher. She is currently studying German, English, Latin and Greek. She is a bibliophile and she does volunteer work at a hospital. Zeinab also has a studygram account called @studylikeaqueen, and a personal account @zeinabnosratii.