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How to get over being a grade perfectionist?

  1. Jan 30, 2015 #1
    I have always been interested in majoring in a STEM field. I never saw myself as a scientist, per say, (I abhor labs) but I always thought I would major in physics, math, or computer science. However, recently I have been very offset by the relatively low grades given out in my STEM classes than in my humanities classes. I easily get As in classes like philosophy and english (even though my school requires that all classes be curved to a B+) while I work hard to attain B/B+ in my physics and mathematics classes. At this point I am tempted to pursue an economics major. My dad has an economics PhD and my two older brothers both attained economics degrees and are now making good money in stable investment banking jobs in New York City. I know I shouldn't focus too much on grades or employability but I am someone that really values doing well and being really really good at what I do (I'm a perfectionist).

    However, I don't want to be yet another girl who comes into college thinking they will pursue STEM and then drops it because it is "too hard". I want to be a woman in STEM and a role model for others. But everyone tells me to just major in Econ w/ some math and CS classes since I don't want to go to grad school anyway (I think) and a physics major isn't all that practical.

    Does anyone have any advice for staying motivated? Am I really better off with a STEM degree and a 3.3 GPA (even astrophysics?) then an International Relations or Economics degree with a 3.7+ GPA?

    I love science and I will always study it on the side my whole life, but the same is true for economics. I just am really confused and I feel like there is no one I can ask. Is a B good in intro physics and multivariable math?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 30, 2015 #2
    you need to get at least a master's in stem fields to find employment. The only one to my knowledge is engineering, that allows you to find employment with a bs, although it would be harder to find a job. If you do not like grad school then forget about astrophysics.

    The only tip to succeed in stem Is to actually like what ever it is you are doing. Determination is key. If you are the type of person who gives up when something is too easy go study psychology or any of the other liberal arts fields.

    What is the point of gpa? for example. If a student grade pads all his courses By taking easy proffessor/cllasses. When the student traN's fees with his 4.0 gpa to a good university. Do you thin k this student will do well at this new institution?
  4. Jan 30, 2015 #3


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    I would much rather get a 2.0 GPA but develop as a thinker than get a 4.0 GPA but not be challenged at all.

    I see grades as secondary. To me, grades are almost a distraction. I often get frustrated with school because of the backwards priorities; isn't the entire point of school to grow?

    Like MidgetDwarf said, the only way you will 'make it' is if you genuinely like what you're doing. This goes for any skill. If your motivation is to be a role model, forget it! If your motivation is any other thing, forget it! You should do whatever you do solely for the purpose of doing it; you should do it simply because you enjoy doing it.

    So if you enjoy being challenged, then definitely go for it. But when deciding what you want to do, do not let grades influence your decision.

    These are my opinions; some may disagree. I am still young, so chew my words with your own mouth (so to speak).
  5. Jan 30, 2015 #4
    So I guess that college is that different from high school, huh? I get giddy when I think that for once in my life I can just study for the things I love and not worry whether that warrants me an A or a B.
  6. Jan 30, 2015 #5
    In some regards yes, ultimately one must get A's but it is not the sole purpose of an education. Rather, expanding ones minds is the greatest gift. However, the way our society is structured could care less if one is knowledgeable about their subject matter. Academia is now churning a great number of students who cannot even critically think.

    Work hard and strive to understand as much as you want, or as little as you want.
  7. Jan 30, 2015 #6
    If you took ap calculus in highschool, retake calculus again in college.
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