Throughout high school, there is a prevailing fallacy that constantly bombards students in every class. This is the ideology that states that grades are not important. The main argument for the insignificance of grades is that they will not matter “in the long run.” Twenty years down the road, it will not matter if you received a C- or an A+ in Algebra II, because no one will remember or care. While that may be true, my four years at Ames High have taught me not to fall into that trap. While grades may be insignificant when you actually start a career, they are perhaps the most important part of your high school resume that you will turn in with your college application. Extra curricular activities are imperative to being a “well rounded” student, and learning how to manage time is essential for success in later life. However, without good grades in high school, it becomes very difficult or even near impossible to have the successful life that most students strive for. Colleges make a big deal about applicants being “good people” or “good students,” but the truth of the matter is that colleges will not make an effort to find out who you actually are if you do not have the GPA they are looking for. In the real application process, extracurricular activities are more of a tie breaker between close GPAs and standardized test scores than anything else. The first thing colleges see, and the first thing to make an impression on an admissions counselor is your GPA. Besides the application process, it is important to maintain quality grades simply because it would be disastrous to make a habit of not caring. If you begin to let grades slip in high school, when the number of activities competing for your time is at a low, college, where partying and whatnot will significantly increase the number of distractions, will be a rude awakening to the amount of time required to maintain a solid GPA when grades actually do matter. In the long run, grades do not matter, but in the immediate future, they should be recognized as significant almost to a fault. Underclassmen, If you’re looking for some advice, have fun, but remember to still work hard and keep a good GPA now so you can relax a bit when you are a senior. Teachers, just a word to the wise, cut the crap about grades being unimportant. That mentality doesn’t help anyone achieve their true potential.