Your grades, boy. I need your grades.

The University of MinnesotaâÄôs Boynton Health Service has got me jonesinâÄô for an answer as to why my classmates stress so much over this point in their lives. Their study, released in the past week, revealed a more direct correlation between stress indicators and grades, something that most of us already knew. Basically, our stress turns into lower grades, and vice versa, onwards until a giant mobius strip of our work, of cigarettes and WOW characters, forms somewhere in outer space. The byproducts of our stress are one thing, but how we approach school is another. The University must be about you and not about GPA. According to a 2007 survey by, only about 1 percent of employers found GPA to be the most important asset in a resume. The ABA Journal, a source of law news, even reported on a study that found that law school rank and GPA are only moderately predictive of success. Of course, that isnâÄôt to say GPA isnâÄôt important. It still determines grants and scholarships, eligibility for graduate schools and even jobs in some cases. For example, a 3.0 is generally believed to be the cutoff for the job market for IT graduates. But, for most of us, fantastic grades shouldnâÄôt be pursued. What is to be sought, instead, is a personal accord with your learning materials, with what exactly you learn and what use you put upon it. Our time here is precious, considering that our lifeâÄôs pinnacle, physically and mentally, is passing as you read this. Sure enough, just as our luscious locks will thin out, and our muscles grow flabby, sooner than later we will be reminiscing with our work buddies about the golden life we used to enjoy, before money and residence became issues, and the time before Lord McCain started a war against the machines. If you are looking for job security, donâÄôt spend all your time hovering over dead scholars and meaningless statistics. YouâÄôre going to forget a good portion of your education, anyway. Spend your time on experience âÄî moreover, on experience you enjoy. Find volunteer work at a homeless shelter, submit your short stories to any and every publication, intern at a zoo or a chocolate factory or a record company. Build your experience while enjoying yourself and imbibing the environment and the people. Talk to people and learn. From everything IâÄôve heard from my elders, it most often comes back to who you know. And the University, home to a city-state of eccentric and motivated kids, is probably a good place for social interaction. WhatâÄôs more is that most people at this age are able to not work âÄî to live out of the sack of gold that the state and our parents keep in the attic. Take a semester off, go study abroad or just go there to be there. Learn a foreign language. Pick up a guitar and learn to play a C chord to stupefy people âÄî itâÄôs well documented how any musical instrument can do that. Go to smoky poetry readings and chat with hipsters. Buy tickets to a football game and enjoy the deafening roar. Walk down by the river as often as possible. Help out others as often as possible. Think of life outside of your education and then you will know what to do. Grades can validate your scholastic efforts to yourself and others, but should they consume your time? In the broad spectrum of things, isnâÄôt there something more worthy? As Mark Twain once said, âÄúDonâÄôt let education get in the way of your learning.âÄù Matt Grimley welcomes comments at [email protected]