Pass/fail grading system should be reinstated until pandemic is over


Juggling schoolwork isn’t easy during a global pandemic. Art by Annemarie Mullet

Anna Frazier, News Editor

Look, I’m not here to throw a pity party for myself—but this semester is HARD. 

I’ve held myself to high standards my entire academic career. College was my aspiration, my dream, my golden gates to a new world of opportunity. 

But now that we’re stuck in this seemingly never-ending pandemic, my priorities have shifted.  

I realized: I don’t want to be studying all the time, I don’t want to be away from my family, I don’t want to be surrounded by uncertainty, and I definitely don’t want to take on any more debt. Maybe I’d like college more in another life, but there is just so much going on right now that I think my true priorities—my happiness and wellbeing—are coming front-and-center.

That being said, I think Linfield should extend their opt-in pass/fail policy from Spring 2020 to this semester. 

My case is one of the milder ones. I simply am not happy here; I’ve had a lot of hard late night conversations with loved ones, and that’s all affecting my school. For the first time ever, I’ve let some of my grades slip out of control.

It’s not that I don’t WANT to do well in my classes—I just can’t. Assignments I could’ve done in a breeze pre-pandemic now take me 2 hours. Even with open-book online tests I still struggle to put answers down.

Others have it worse—their homes were directly in the line of the wildfires, their families were sick with COVID or other illnesses, they or their families lost jobs due to the recession. On top of all that, they have to worry about their midterms. 

Besides personal issues going on, we aren’t learning the same way either. Hybrid classes are not the same as in-person, so why should they be graded as if they are? 

I chose to stay at Linfield because I was impressed with the connections students get to make with faculty and the administration, but right now I feel like I’m not being heard. I’m concerned for the students who aren’t even saying anything. 

Commercials and politicians love to mention “these unprecedented times,” and they may sound like a broken record, but they’re right. These are unprecedented times, and sometimes expectations have to change to fit the times. Allowing pass/fail for this semester could help ease some students’ worries about getting perfect grades— allowing them to focus on what’s really important. 

Opt-in pass/fail should remain in effect until the pandemic is over. Not because students are lazy, but because we are stressed and worried about bigger things than a GPA.