Lab classes have made me realize that the more effort I put in to a class, the less I care about the grade. This obviously has some pros and cons.
For one, it’s not that I won’t be hugely disappointed putting a lot of time in to a class and not getting the grade I was expecting, but I think at some point we all have to realize that we gave it our best shot, and putting in even more time wouldn’t have helped very much.
Also, I’ve found that when it comes to ‘easy’ classes at Stanford, what drives me to do well is the fear of embarrassment over a subpar grade. I guess this goes against the concept of Stanford being very laid back about school, but maybe I’m just going about it all wrong.
Most important of all, though, it is clear to me now that this relationship is due to the fact that the harder I try for a class, the more rewarding I find it. In other words, my satisfaction is already guaranteed before I receive my grade. Because of this, I feel I am very rarely motivated by just the grades I will receive at the end of the quarter. I’m lucky enough to have found a subject that I really enjoy learning about, and I think that is really what Stanford is about. Let’s just hope I can keep caring about grades enough to keep from failing out.