Good grades can offer more than just scholarships

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After high school, most people are told it doesn’t matter whether you get Cs or As in college or university, as long as you get that diploma or degree. However, while you’re striving for that qualification, keeping your marks up can open more doors than you think.

During most of high school, I balanced work, a band and good grades, so I learned good study habits which I brought with me to university.

Instead of partying, I would study. This might sound boring and not like the university life many people imagine, but I still had time for a social life as well. Every weekend I would go home from residence for the weekend to play shows and chill with my band mates and boyfriend while at concerts. During the week, I saw my boyfriend usually for two days in a row. I just made sure I had time to do the work required to maintain my good grades.

During my second year of university, it was even more important for me to get good grades. I had my eye on the creative writing program at York, which required – along with an impressive portfolio of work – at least a B+ average, but mostly As if you wanted to ensure you were accepted. I was also striving to get scholarships.

I thought scholarships and getting into that program was all good marks were good for, but then a couple of things changed.

First, I decided I want to go to grad school after completing my undergrad. An MA or a PhD opens some doors in the job market, but even having an Honours BA, which requires a level of achievement in grades, may set me apart.

Then the emails started coming. Like most students, I thought the university didn’t recognize me and the hard work I do, but I was wrong!

During the end of my second year, I was told about a special scholarship I could apply for, and more recently, I have been getting volunteer job offers from the university for mentoring new and returning students, and leading orientations. These positions take very little time and look great on your resumé whether your goal is grad school or an entry-level job.

To receive these offers I didn’t need straight As, just a B+ average. I think this is obtainable for most students with good study habits.

Most of these offers came through my university email, so keep your email active and check it frequently. It’s probably a good idea to keep your mailing address up to date as well because a few letters came via snail mail!

York also has an Academic Session Successional List, which is like the honour roll. Things like this fill out a resumé nicely and let future employers know about your work ethic.

So keep those marks up! You never know what opportunities they will give you!

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