Grades outweigh activities

College is a big step that may cause worries about academic standards, social acceptance, building resumes and other major challenges.

Many students prioritize such matters to help them make the right decision when faced with these challenges. Even still, some wonder which is more important, getting the grades or getting involved.

“You should get the grades and be involved because you will be a well-rounded person,” said Delana Upchurch, 18, a freshmen business administration student from Detroit. “However, time is very limited and it doesn’t allow many students to accomplish everything on their wish lists.”

For some students, having a 4.0 grade point average is extremely important for them and their families.

Derrick Bean, 26, has kept a 3.8 GPA and said his grades are definitely a priority.

“The grades are obviously more important because they will carry you a long way, unlike social organizations,” said the senior construction technology-engineering student from Bermuda. “I personally don’t have time for extra activities because I have to study.”

On the contrary, some students feel that being involved in various organizations helps build future connections.

“When I graduated from Wayne State University I didn’t have the grades,” said Deidra Matthews, a financial analyst for Computer Science Inc. located in Glen Burnie, Md. “But I was very active in a lot of organizations, which built my network, so I knew a lot of people when it came time for my interviews.”

Matthews admitted that while it is good to be involved, companies do pay attention to what goes on in the classroom.

“It really depends on the company and profession,” she said. “Some companies don’t allow you to fill out an application without a certain GPA.”

While grades and activities are important, some said that there is even more to the college experience.

“College is a great introduction to the essence of making choices,” said Norman Johnson, professor and director of Student Services at SBI.

“Prior to college your parents made choices for you. Now left wide open … the matter is to integrate the multi-choices … while still getting the outcome that you want after making the choice to come to college.”

Devin Brown can be reached at