As a pre-med myself, I’ve had to grapple with my true motivations for pursuing a career in medicine. Am I just complacently wandering down this path that I arbitrarily designated for myself when trying to decide the proper angle for my college admissions essays? Is Cornell’s “any person … any study” motto wasted on me if I refuse to imagine a world in which I’m not pre-med?
The spring semester of my freshman year, I took BIOG 1440: Introductory Biology: Comparative Physiology, a popular intro-level biology course. The course content was interesting and enjoyable; however, each exam and assignment I completed was a devastating reminder that the median of the course would be a C+ or B- — without question. Even worse, I learned from the course syllabus that the curving of all freshmen-level biology core courses to a C+ or B- has been a standard policy at Cornell for years, a sign of grade deflation. Grade deflation, the act of lowering the median grade of classes relative to other courses or institutions, is a highly controversial topic that surrounds colleges and has been acknowledged on the national level. The effects of grade deflation are far-reaching and undoubtedly horrible.