Why Your GPA Sucks

What does college mean to you? Parties? Social life? Cool, I don’t really care cause you’re probably wrong.

alcohol animated GIF

To most it’s a learning experience where lifelong friends and wild memories that will make great stories later on in life are made. For graduating high school students and young college hopefuls it opens up a whole new world, a world where parents aren’t there to micromanage their every decision. As your typical “dude bro dude” college student might put it, “College in one word? Parties!”

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Parties

This implies that the pressure to make stupid decisions such as sacrificing study time to go to the sure-to-be “wild” block party is immense! I mean really, who wants to sit at home and write a paper or work through some math problems when everyone else you know is out making totally awesome memories? You could probably just do that boring academic stuff later anyway. This thought process, also known as the phenomenon called fear of missing out (FOMO), is a death sentence to a college student’s GPA.  However, scientists haven’t proved it yet.

Actually FOMO has nothing to do with science besides the fact that there is a science to figuring out how it relates to GPA… wait what? This FOMO thing is simply a desire to be involved with people or events due to a fear that you might miss out on some sort of benefit, like a “totally radical party… man”. Through a series of very bland academic research sessions, I have found that many smart people have conducted many studies that show exactly what affects GPA. These things that affect GPA usually have a positive or negative effect. A simple example of these positive and negative effects are:

  1. Positive effect:
    1. More motivation = Higher GPA
    2. More sleep = Higher GPA
  2. Negative effect:
    1. More Distractions = Lower GPA
    2.  More Facebook = Lower GPA

Through process of my infallible logic, I have concluded, FOMO turns the positive effects into negatives and increases the occurrence of the already existing negatives to create the perfect GPA-destroying series of events. For example, your average “dude bro” with a “high” level of FOMO might show a shift in motivation in a college setting. Creating the following chain of events:

  1. Motivation + FOMO:
    1. Academic motivation → changes to → Social motivation which in turn = more parties = more distraction from studying = more procrastination = less sleep = lower GPA

FOMO, put simply, is a parasite that infects both good and bad behaviors to create the sickness that is poor GPA. College students are especially vulnerable to this sickness because of the newly found freedom and ability to do what they want when they want.

So, what do we do about FOMO? Well, I don’t really have a solution, I guess I’ll just leave that up to the scientists and smart people OR just you cause you make your own decisions… at least, I hope you do.

What I Discovered

So I’m back again… I have to write about some things I discovered while writing my final research paper. Specifically:

  • what I learned about the topic of my paper
  • what I learned about the research
  • what I learned about myself as an academic writer

The topic of my paper was determinants of academic performance as seen through the lens of  FOMO or Fear of Missing Out. So, what did I learn? I learned that there is an existing academic discussion going on among scholars about factors or determinants of academic performance. There are so many things that have been shown to ether positively influence academic performance or negatively influence it. However, there exists a whole in this academic discussion, and that is, FOMO’s influence on GPA.

Research: I learned that proper research takes a lot of time and a lot of organized thought. If you want to sound like you know what your talking about, you need to actually know what your talking about. You need to read, reread, then read some more. Honestly, with all the research I did for my final paper I felt like I only scratched the surface of my topic. To wrap it up I would say the most important things I learned about my research are; forethought/planning, organize your thoughts and find a direction, take the time to read many many different works, write down thoughts and ideas sparked by this reading, find relevant quotes, cite properly, then after you’ve done all that repeat the process multiple times.

Myself as an academic writer: I really don’t like to write, especially when it is academic writing. I find this type of writing very boring and time consuming. I feel like anything I write will be judged harshly by people much smarter than me. However, I do appreciate what it has taught me. Academic writing is very thorough and requires a ton of critical thinking, it’s really just a good life practice. In a nut shell, I have learned that as an academic writer I can better myself and others through the work that I do.