Your GPA Does Not Define You // A Letter To Perfectionists

Dear Perfectionists,

I know that it’s the end of the school year and that assignments are stacked higher than your laundry, that papers are hiding around every corner, and that sleep is something of myth. Pressure and stress are at extremes despite your professors’ assurances that “the end is near.” In fact, I know how scared those simple words make you.

I know you’re living in fear of the end– fear of leaving the semester with something less than the perfect and pristine 4.0. You’ve worked so hard over these past months, but your grades aren’t as high as you want them to be. Some of your classes are even in danger of falling into the terrifying land of B+. But please don’t worry– your GPA does not define you.



Yes, I know you’ve likely never received a class grade lower than an A. In elementary school you proved yourself through the unity of high marks on your report cards. Even high school brought another four years of dignified looking transcripts and impressive SAT scores. However, these pieces of paper that silently proclaim “intelligence and diligence” are not the definition of who you are.

You are intelligent but not because your GPA is a 3.8 or 4.0. You are intelligent, because you aren’t scared to admit you don’t know everything. You’re willing to learn, to face unfathomable topics and obscure projects when others would just give up.

You are diligent. While other students watch the latest movies and spend hours at the mall, you spend endless amounts of time studying in the solitude of the library or your dorm room. You organize study sessions and visit with your professors. You set your standards high but still reach higher, even when it seems impossible.

Still, you are so much more than the things that help you make good grades. Your GPA does not define you– you define you.

Perhaps your smile and your ability to make others laugh even when your about to cry?  Or your creativity and need to see the things in a way that others cannot? Maybe it’s the way you love to teach and help others in need?

Whatever those things may be, your GPA can never take them away. You will still be you, even if you make a B+ in a class. Yes, I know it’s frightening and that your perfectionist mind fears letting others down: your parents, your professors, and mostly yourself.

Don’t worry, because it will all be okay. You might lose your 4.0, but you will not lose yourself. You will not lose your intelligence, your diligence, or those special things that make you the unique individual that you are.

In the end, who you are matters more than pieces of paper without personality, so don’t let your GPA define you. Don’t be afraid as the “end” approaches and remember to be your beautiful self.

With love,

A fellow perfectionist





9 thoughts on “Your GPA Does Not Define You // A Letter To Perfectionists

  1. I really needed a message like this ! I’m far from a 4.0 student, I’m actually the average c student but I do try to do my best. I always wondered why I couldn’t get grades as good as most students but I am learning to not compare myself to others and continue to strive.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for posting.
    I really needed this. A lot of my friends are getting into graduate/professional schools and I feel like I’m so far behind from my dreams of getting into one. My boyfriend tries to give me the same message you just gave but it’s hard for me to believe him because he’s not a perfectionist. It’s frustrating to know that you tried hard and it didn’t pay off and then it gets to the point where you start wondering if this is the right path for me or not. Anyway, thanks again for posting.


    1. Aww, Kensie, I’m so very happy you came across this post when you needed it. As a perfectionist, I truly understand the struggle. Just try to remember that your time will come, and in the meantime, try not to let the pursuit of perfection oppress the joys of simply living life with all its flaws and failures.


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