Worried much about finals? You have so much work you can’t even afford having lunch without feeling guilty? You are on the brinks of depression and all what you can think of is the minimum grade you should get in the final to pass? If this is what you’re going through, then you’re doing it wrong. You’re stressing for no reason, you think freaking out will magically make all those Maxwell equations pop back in your mind? Listen up, finals or no finals, what you’re going through is unacceptable, and here is why.
Grades Are Not Everything
Yes, as much as your professor kept on stressing about the importance of grades and how scoring an A will be your free pass to success, all that at the end of the day is bullshit. Grades are overrated, and believing they are what defines you as a person is just a lie you’ve been repeating to yourself for far too long. If everyone thought grades matter, then we wouldn’t be holding that iPhone or buying a Microsoft surface. Grades and success are not inter dependent, and those who understand this are the ones fool enough to make the great things happen. If you’re the person who dreams about an office and paycheck, a morgage and a boring life, then be our guest and care about your grades as much as you care about your broken dreams, but don’t go around preaching that being the best in class is the only way to move forward in life.
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
You are a genius, you are good at something, and that something is not necessarily taught in class. Teachers won’t help you figure out what your inner genius is because they are too absorbed trying to show how that writer or that scientist will change your life if only you can remember what he wrote in the second paragraph of his 32nd book. The past has been shaped by great people who did their fair share in life, but the future, the future will be shaped by you and me, and that’s why you shouldn’t lose focus of what matters: don’t be good at maths or at comparative literature, be good at what you’re best at.
College Is An Investment, Not A Test
You can live your college life thinking of it as a test, a phase you have to go through, or you can see it as a great period to invest time and efforts into developing yourself and coming up with something tangible. If you think of college as a necessary evil, a bitter medicine, then you are just wasting your time. You can just as well think of life that way and live your remaining 60 years thinking that all this is just something you have to go through, something you have to survive. Quite a depressing look you got there. But if you are one of those visionaries who wake up every morning not dreading going to class, but excited about what they will make out of those upcoming 24 hours, then you hit the jackpot. These visionaries don’t judge their worth by how many papers they wrote or by how many A’s they scored. They judge their worth by how much impact they had or how far they’ve gone in making their dreams come true. It’s your choice, and if you chose to make the rest of your life the best of your life, then congrats you are promised for great things. If you chose to stick to rigid standards and a set of social constraints that made us believe there is no success without a college degree, then don’t blame anyone but yourself.
School Smart vs Street Smart
We all know some students who are so damn smart they make you feel like a jackass straight out of kindergarden. But guess what, the world is not ruled by the IQ geniuses. CEOs are not appointed because they aced their SAT or because they can recite the US constitution word for word. There is a big difference between College smart and Street smart. You can line up straight As for 4 years but if you cannot navigate the corporate world, then you’ll be the genius paid by the C+ guy who will hire you for his company. What we forget as students is that spending hours over that textbook can get you ready for the exam, but it’s far from getting you ready for real life. Real life is not a multiple choice question. It’s not a clear cut between right and wrong. In real life, things don’t work according to a set of rules. In the real world there is something called connections, bullshit, kiss ass, unfairness, inequality and inequity, visual judgement and hustle. In the real world you don’t get something simply because you have a paper with a University name on it (Well maybe not for Harvard students), but you get something because of a blend of luck, merit and a whole lot of hustle and BS. Life is not ideal, and because of that you have to follow not so ideal paths. If you think that you’re unique because of an A, then brace yourself to meet the other 233.456 students with an A. But if you stand out from the crowd and show them what you’re made of, then you might have a shot at it. You created your company at the age of 17? You made your first million by your 21st birthday? You talked VCs into investing in your software? You wrote a book before graduation? You directed a documentary with your classmates and won that 20.000 USD award? You traded oil and gas online before you got your driving license? You signed clients who make more than what the University president gets in a year?
This, ladies and gentlemen, is what will set you apart form the crowd. There are millions of A’s out there, but there is only one YOU. Which one will you go after? The choice is yours!
Photo Credit: The Social Network, TechCrunch