Being a successful student does not necessarily mean having great grades. A successful student will have grades above adequate, and also will network with other students, learn a couple of things about life, and have fun. The learning success is mirrored by a successful career. Grades alone do not promise a career success. The articles we publish in this blog are usually based on some sort of research. However, some personal experiences can also very important: they reveal the difficulties faced by others that we can relate to. This guest article by Olivia Ryan reveals some of the regrets straight-A students may have.
The world of education has never been more competitive. At this point, failing an exam or passing with a grade lower than an A is embarrassing. The sad truth is, students, see this as lack of intellect and a clear sign of weakness when it’s actually not so grave at all.
‘’Education shouldn’t make a student confined to four walls, spending sleepless nights trying to get an A for each subject. It should go beyond all this. Giving literally everything to study without any consideration of the wellbeing of a student is the biggest flaw of our system’’ – explains Dan Torne, an expert at a movie review writing service.
This situation has become so rooted in our system, people value grades over success and knowledge. The issue took a big toll on my life and my career as a student, and not in the way you imagine.
When I mentioned this, you surely thought that something happened to my academic performance. This is the first thing that comes to our minds as a result of today’s educational values people set. Believe it or not, I was a straight-A student. In fact, I was the best in my class.
At the time, I believed that I am a high achiever. This achievement was defined with my GPA – that’s how everyone saw it. It was after I graduated and started working that I realized – I am not so special after all! Everything I’ve learned turned to be just a slight piece of the puzzle that is real life and the real thing is what follows after.
It was later that I understood that such societal pressures could be my failure. When I started moving toward development without worrying about GPA or how people grade me, I’ve risen by using my own creativity.
1. Not Having Fun
People don’t just say that school is the best experience you’ll have in life out of fun. When you aren’t too obsessed with your grades, exams, and deadlines, you actually get to have the time of your life!
As a straight A-student, this is what I regret most. Not going to parties because I wanted to study ahead to ensure the best grade, not traveling with friends so that I achieve more than everyone else in the class – this all took away some memories I can never create now. Right now, friends who were smart about learning and still had fun have achieved as much as I have, and I’ll always envy those great memories they go back to.
I’m not saying that you should have fun and forget about the studying and assignments. These are essential for getting prepared for your future, and good grades will help you get a nicer job. However, failing to do both has been a huge failure for me as a person, since what other time in life there to have such fun as it is while in school?
As soon as school ended and I got my precious diploma, I had to start applying for work to return those student loans and get a decent life for myself. Then I created a family, so going to parties like I could before was simply no longer possible. This was the point in my life when I regretted the poor decision of studying all the time without a little bit of fun in between.
2. GPA Turned Out Less Important Than I Believed
I’ve tried so hard to have the best GPA possible, so imagine my disappointment when no one bothered with my results afterward! I’m not saying that GPA doesn’t matter, but the difference between having all A’s and having solid grades seemed nothing compared to what I’ve imagined.
Instead of opening every door for me, my GPA was not even mentioned in interviews. The employers were much more impressed with my volunteering experience and other achievements than they were about my grades.
I believe that it was a good academic performance that got me all those interviews, but when I heard what employers asked during these, I realized that the A-s were not as impressive as other things I did. Most employers are more impressed by work and volunteering experiences, projects you have worked on and skills you have developed. This is what they need from you in a workplace – not a paper that lists all A-s!
3. Not Sleeping Enough
Getting straight A’s is hard on a student. If I were to exaggerate a bit, I’d say that I barely survived college. Students like this don’t take B-s for an answer, so anything less than an A is unacceptable. This means studying all the time, often even during the night. Translation – you don’t really sleep in order to get those grades!
Now I regret this. Not only it is unhealthy, but it was definitely not worth it to go through all that torture so that I don’t have a B in my GPA.
4. Spending Time on Things I Will Never Need
You could ask these students about something they’ve learned, and they won’t remember most of it. Instead of choosing subjects I found fun and interesting, I chose those that could appear better in my profile. Choosing tough, memorizing, and vague subjects are what got me spending every day trying to remember everything. Now I hardly remember any of it, so what use do I have from this?
If I had a shot at turning back time, I’d do things differently. It is often best to choose subjects you find interesting and motivating because those are the ones that stick to the memory. Even if some difficult subjects you have no interest in seem better for the job positions you are planning to pursue, you can’t really use them if you don’t remember most of what you learned!
5. Not Making Friends and Spending Time with Them
Being active in almost everything related to studying and education hardly left me time for people. Between studying for exams and being part of the student government, as well as trying to impress everyone, I didn’t get a shot at making friends.
The first regret adds to my inability to make friends that will last me forever. Not being part of the time of our lives certainly put a barrier between me and people. At times, I think that a friend could help me much more than great academic performance has.
People around me still maintain contact or are best friends with people they met in college or while at university. Not being able to live an active life because of exaggerated studying makes students pass on all these advantages, which leaves them no room for making lifelong friends.
Even those little friends you will have will be those who are dedicated to studying as much as you. The rest won’t stick around – friends expect friends to be there for them, spend time with them, and build memories together. When you are a straight A-student, there’s simply no time for all this.
I am not saying that grades and academic performance aren’t important. Knowledge will help you pursue and lead a successful life, but exaggerating in order to meet those social norms can only do you harm. Here is a list of regrets that you can hear from every straight A-student in the world.