By Jordan Davidson |

I still remember how I felt the first time I failed a test in college.

It was my freshman year and I was still trying to get the hang of studying. I tried really hard to highlight important topics in my textbook, make notecards with vocab words, and incorporate candy into my study routine, but nothing helped as much as I had hoped it would. I scored a whopping 68% on my first mass communications exam. 

As I walked out of the classroom, I immediately called my mom crying with my five step plan to drop my classes, change my major, and move out of my dorm.

I thought the world was ending because I failed one test.

It’s really easy to take failing a test at face value, especially during freshman year. But as I’ve experienced more of the ups and downs of college, I realized that GPA doesn’t matter THAT much. 

I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true. 

Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to be studious and attempt to gain new insight and knowledge on a particular subject, but, in the end, grades don’t properly reflect how much one knows or who someone will be after graduation.

Yes, academic performance carries more weight when it comes to finding a job straight out of college, but it’s not the only thing that determines whether or not you get hired.

According to the Baylor University Career Center, the most important thing about your resume is to “‘fit’ the skills from your experience (work or school) to the job that you are seeking.” 

Sections like relevant experience, on-campus involvement, and acquired skills are all just as important as academic performance when it comes to applying for jobs.

Take Bill Gates, for example. Who knew that one of the wealthiest men in the world today dropped out of Harvard just two years into his studies? Although being a dropout from one of the world’s most prestigious universities is not the best thing to put on your resume, Gates used his time as a dropout to build a computer that changed the world. His relevant experience section on his resume was well-equipped to make up for anything that his collegiate status was lacking. 

The ultimate goal of attending college is to learn more about a specific field so that you are well-equipped to enter the job force that encompasses that career. Learning isn’t merely a number or letter assigned to students at the end of every semester; it’s an immersive experience that can happen inside or outside the classroom. 

College really is about more than your GPA. Sure, it’s important that you try your best and study your hardest, but don’t be afraid to give yourself some grace if you underperform in one of your classes. 

The next time you get test results that you aren’t happy with or a graded assignment that makes you want to switch your major, remember that failure is an opportunity to learn more about yourself and the subject in a different way. Don’t be afraid to explore other ways to acquire knowledge.