As many of you know, I’m a bit of a data and analytics junkie, and like to claim that everything should be data-driven.∗ I eat my own dog food and, being a fairly public person, I don’t mind showing the results: below is a chart graphing my GPA for each term as well as cumulatively since I’ve started college.† If you’re just starting your college career, you should keep your GPA high by monitoring these trends.
Hopefully your term GPA won’t fluctuate as wildly as mine did, but it does help to notice trends to correct or build upon. For example, it was clear after the first two years that my grades plummet during the summer term; consequently, I took slightly easier courses this past two summers, focused more on them, and tada! summer became one of my better terms. While you “know” this intuitively, there’s nothing like a black-and-white (and blue-and-red) chart to smack you in the face and make you take action. Similarly, you’ll notice that my GPA steadily decreased (though there were some fighting terms in there!) during the first two years, but this was recognized and for the past six terms I’ve error corrected resulting in a slightly increasing GPA. Notice these trends and take corrective measures early in your college career—as you complete more credits, the more inertial resistance your GPA has to improvement.
You might wonder why I’m missing a datapoint in Term GPA for Fall 08-09. I was working in Prague during that term and didn’t take any classes (no term GPA), and thus you’ll notice my cumulative GPA did not change over that period either. Also, you might notice my GPA is kind of “hovering” around a particular number—that number is 3.20, also known as the minimum GPA requirement for my financial aid.
∗ To clarify, I believe that all decisions made in business or other work-like activities should be driven by data. I work with enough designers/ethnographers/sociologists that I know the domestic side of life should not be subjected to these same utilitarian measures that office life uses.
† Yes, I’ve been in school for a while. I’m graduating in June, and will hopefully be moving to Chicago thereafter. I’m open to offers, opportunities, and getting to know soon-to-be-fellow Chicagoans