You and I both know the dreadful feeling of logging onto RamWeb at the end of each semester after grades have been posted and cringing while the unofficial transcript page loads to view our freshly calculated cumulative GPAs.
We all know the feeling of frantically punching numbers into the calculator — how many points do you need to get an A? What grades do you need this semester to raise your GPA above a 2.0 to pull out of academic probation? You get the point.
We’ve all looked at and worried about our GPAs at one point or another. I’m here to tell you to worry no more.
Seriously. Grades are important and should not be completely ignored, but there’s something else that is more beneficial for your future career — drinking. Yes, I mean alcohol. Yes, I’m serious. No, don’t freak out on me yet, you overachievers. Let me explain.
Earlier this year, Barstool Sports wrote in an article for graduates, “No one will EVER care about your GPA. If you worked hard in school and didn’t drink or mingle with hardcore party goers and just studied and focused on your grades, you [messed] up. You’ll be working for them. Because no one cares if you got a 3.8 GPA. The dude with the 2.7 who knows how to talk to people is getting your job.”
High GPAs are great — if you’re going to be attending grad school. But to be totally honest, if you’re not planning on furthering your education, it probably isn’t going to be noticed by anyone — sorry.
Let’s move on to the alcohol. Yes, I agree — alcohol has its many downfalls and I am fully aware of the dangers within the culture of college binge drinking. The reality of the situation is just that, though — it’s only a culture.
Binge drinking and consuming alcohol in general is the social atmosphere of many college campuses, this one in particular (at least from what my experience has been in the last four years). It’s what we do, it’s how many meet people living on or off-campus, and it’s a way to have fun and connect with others in this crazy time of life.
Still not on board with me? In a recent article by none other than Time Magazine, “Why College Binge Drinkers are Happy, Have High Status”, they said, “College binge drinkers say they’re happier with their social lives than those who don’t indulge… Low-status students in turn reported being happier if they binged than if they didn’t. Indeed, alcohol seemed to be the great social equalizer, bringing members of low-status groups to happiness levels similar to those of greater social power if they binged. ”
The article goes on to detail the binge drinking culture that has swept the nation on many campuses. It isn’t necessarily that students always want to drink to excessive amounts or that the alcohol itself causes the raise in mood and social status — but that the students do so to fit in or feel accepted socially. It brings them together in a way that, frankly, Mountain Dew just can’t.
I’m not telling you to be ridiculous and pound shot after shot until you black out and make a fool of yourself. I’m saying have a beer or two with friends and relax. Those spending hours obsessing meticulously over their GPAs should consider taking a weekend off to have a few drinks with friends — building social skills and making connections with others.
It is these social skills that carry on with you throughout life, in your personal and professional worlds — these are the skills that will help you through tough job interviews and getting along with bosses and coworkers.
I’m also not saying to blow off school, because the time management and organizational skills you gain in college are irreplaceable (I’ll still be doing my homework every night).
The choice is yours — you can obsess over some numbers that really aren’t going to mean much in the long run (in most situations) or you can have a little fun and help your future self out. I’ve made my choice, I’ll drink to you making yours.
Lauren Stieritz is a senior communication studies major. Her columns appear Fridays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.