Editorial

How Your Mindset Affects Your Grades

Online or in person, students will almost always have grade. Grades that determine your college, and grades that determine your classes. For some students it is at the back of their mind, and for others, its their top priority. Regardless, the mindset that you use to approach your grades is a crucial factor to getting good ones.

There are hundreds of different mentalities, but only two mindsets: a growth mindset and a fixed mindset. A fixed mindset is when you do not want to change your opinions or thoughts, your stuck on a certain idea or phase. A growth mindset, however, is the exact opposite! A growth mindset is when you are open to change, growth, criticism, and feedback.
In school, a fixed mindset will stop you from making friends, building relationships with your teachers, and having high grades. With a fixed mindset, you are usually unwilling to hear other people’s opinions, constantly arguing without listening to facts, you are way more likely to get angry at others. Would you like to be friends with someone like this?

Similarly, while your trying to build relationships with your teachers and they give you a statement with some feedback and an action item to change. A student with a fixed mindset would immediately disagree, get upset/angry, and might deflect the feedback with irrelevant information. Would you ever want a student like that? After a couple of “low blows”, would you still want them to grow?

Finally, a fixed mindset will only get you bad grades. Eventually, every student hits a bump in the road regarding their grades. With a fixed mindset, that student will constantly blame the teacher, pushing their anger out onto others, and maybe even fall into a spiral. Would you want to ever fall into such a spiral?
Although, with a change in your mindset, you can be the friend, student, and even get amazing grades. With a growth mindset, you are open to change, listening to others, and due to those reasons, more likely to stay calm and happy. Wouldn’t you like to have a friend like that?

As a student, you are bound to get feedback. Whether it is positive or negative, your teacher just wants to help you grow through their feedback. With a growth mindset, you can take in the feedback knowing its only to help you grow, ask diligent questions about it, and add valuable feedback to the question. Wouldn’t you like a student like that? Someone with a lot of respect and patience?

Finally, as a child, getting grades can either be a scary experience or a regular one. For a child with a growth mindset, it can even be a fun one! Through a growth mindset, they can understand and learn from their mistakes, ask their teachers better questions, and understand that they got something wrong, that everyone does, and move on. Wouldn’t you like to be that student; one who does not fall into a spiral, and can truly grow?

As fantastic as a growth mindset sounds, getting there is a harder process than you may think. It starts with a flip of a switch, an acknowledgement that you want to change. Just thinking or saying that you want to change, does not lead to change; there are certain steps that you should follow. After you flip the switch, try every day to keep the flip switched. Its ok if you slip up one day, the only thing that matters in this case is that you do not slip up the next, falling into a spiral. To keep in this habit, try to avoid saying the fixed mindset quotes, but instead the growth mindset ones.

Fixed Mindset Thoughts
“Once I fail, I’m not going to try again”
“I am either good at it, or I am not”
“I don’t want to be challenged”
“No thanks, Ill stick to what I know”
“I don’t need feedback, I am perfect”

Growth Mindset Thoughts
“Failure is a path to grow!”
I can learn whatever I want to!”
“Challenge can only help me grow!”
“Bring it on!”
“Feedback is what I strive for!”

If you ever catch yourself saying or thinking anything in the “Fixed Mindset” column, do a full 180, and say something for the “Growth Mindset” column.
Once you have mastered the growth mindset, you must take it to the next step. (Bring it on!) As I previously said, there are hundreds of different mentalities that you can use for different situations. Below, I have written a list of the top 5 mentalities for students to use.

High Standards. Do not let your top priorities be held to a substandard. Ensure that everything your passionate about is held to your highest standard.
Curiosity. As a student, it is crucial to have a natural curiosity. We live in an amazing age where if we do not understand something, we can google it. Have that natural curiosity, and I guarantee you one day, you can find your true passion through this.

Authenticity. As a student, you may think all your teachers are incredibly dumb; you may feel they cannot see you when you are just talking to them for fixing your grades. Being authentic will lead to better relationships with others and yourself.

Be a Boss. As a student, you can often be undermined by your age. Take this, I am 13 and I am writing for an international newspaper! “My age doesn’t define my talents” – always remember that.
Figure. It. Out. Like curiosity, we can google anything we want at any time. Thanks to this, you should not have to ask your teachers, or anyone for that matter, dumb questions that you can google.

With mentalities like these, and a growth mindset, you are unstoppable. Be that friend and student you want to be around. Online or in-person, a growth mindset can boost your grades and your relationships. Thank you all so much for reading, and I hope you decide to take that first step and just flip the switch!