Failing grade or COVID?

Failing grade or COVID?

Daniel Gonzalez-Arevalo, Reporter

Grades are one of the most talked about topics in high school. Students are unable to escape the word throughout the day, whether it is one of their teachers who brings it up, or perhaps a classmate might bring it up asking to compare grades on an assignment. Either way, the goal for many students is to get good grades in their classes. However, when being presented with a scenario where students must pick between getting COVID-19 or failing a class, what will students prioritize?

In a survey where students were asked to pick between contracting the virus or failing their class, the overwhelming majority would rather contract the virus instead of failing one of their classes. Out of 155 responses, 115 students chose the virus. In comparison 40 students chose the failing grade. Junior Kaitlyn McMullin gave her opinion on why she and so many other students would rather get COVID-19 than fail.

I’d rather get COVID because I would most likely be fine, and if I failed my class then I would have to take it over again,” McMullin said. “People are less scared of COVID because they don’t want to retake a class and they don’t see COVID as very scary.”

While McMullin and other students fear having to retake one of their classes, junior Kamryn Archibald fears the affect the virus will have on her and others around her. Archibald states that although she cares about her grades and wants to succeed, she simply does not want to contract the virus.

“I would rather fail then get COVID because if I were to have COVID, all of my family and friends I’ve been around would have to quarantine and I would feel pretty guilty if that were to happen,” Archibald said. “I also don’t want to know what it’s like to have COVID.”

While Archibald fears the impact COVID could have on her life, McMullin continues to look forward. She prioritizes her grades in order to get accepted into college and help pay for it’s expenses. This is why she fears affecting her grade point average, because it could directly impact her future.

“I’m worried about it dropping my GPA,” McMullin said. “Failing a class is scarier because I’ve never had lower than a B as my final grade.”

While Archibald agrees that failing a class is bad she argues that you can work to improve your grade or change it completely. However the impacts COVID can have on your life are unknown and much scarier than failing a class.

“Getting COVID is really scary because there are so many consequences and so many symptoms that come with having COVID,” Archibald said. “Failing a class is obviously scary but there are things that you can do to make it better and or change that.”

No matter what option students picked they all had their own valid reasons as to why they did so. Nonetheless many fear a change in their grades in comparison to a change in their health with COVID. For the sake of the town, everyone is lucky that the ultimatum is hypothetical because if this were an actual choice, the number of active COVID cases would skyrocket.