The Weirdness of Getting Final Semester Grades

Getting final term grades at the end of each semester is always an odd process for me. Here’s why.

Each semester at Cornell, it’s safe to say that I, like most students, put a lot of work in for each of my 5 (or so) classes. Problem sets, all-night cram sessions before exams, participating in class, projects, you name it–all these things are done throughout the 5 month term in the hopes of getting the highest grade I can in each of my courses. There are ups and downs throughout the semester; I get pumped when I find out I did well on an exam, and I feel bummed when I didn’t do as well as I wanted on a problem set. I feel stressed when I have a busy week full of exams, and feel relieved when I’ve conquered them all. This whirlwind of emotions and activities takes place throughout the entirety of the 5 month term.

But ultimately, your performance throughout the semester is condensed down to 5 letters on a transcript. And when/where do you find out these letters, which are indicative of every single thing that you’ve done academically throughout the semester?

Well, I casually checked my grades online at 2:30pm while sitting in my pajama bottoms at home on the couch, eating Ben & Jerry’s ice cream out of the pint, watching Conan O’Brien reruns (okay, I’m exaggerating, but not by much). Other times, I’ve found out final grades while on my iPhone, waiting in line for food somewhere in my hometown.

I’m not entirely sure why I find this process odd, but I think it’s because all my activities/work up in Ithaca for half a year ultimately come down to mere letters–that I check while refreshing StudentCenter at home, in a¬†completely¬†different frame of mind. It’s not like I’m expecting some ceremony with trumpet players, where each of my professors would personally hug me and say “congrats on the A-,” but it just strikes me as weird that the fruit of all my work each semester is realized when I’m at home, far away from Ithaca, on a sofa checking grades online.

Ah, well. Here’s to summer!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *