It’s an incredibly ironic belief that straight-A students will automatically be more successful than their B-average counterparts. In this day and age, there are so many stories about people who dropped out of high school or college to become world-renowned entrepreneurs. To be clear, these people didn’t drop out because they couldn’t hack it, but because they saw no point in getting a 4.0 while taking electives they had no interest in. They chose to create their own paths. Most “B students” are really “A students” that have chosen to focus on other aspects of their lives, while maintaining their grades as best they can.
Disclimer: This is no attack on A students — everyone learns and works in their own way. Keep doing what you’re doing!
1. They don’t waste time on frivolous studying
B students don’t love doing homework or studying for exams. Nobody really does, but B students don’t feel the need to make it a priority. Sure, they get it done, and they learn enough to pass the tests, but they also spend time outside the library. B students rarely turn down opportunities to go on adventures or do something fun because they have a project due later in the week. They understand that an impromptu adventure will do more for them in the long-run than remembering dates from a history book.
2. They focus on other interests
B students are generally quite intelligent. They just don’t feel the need to learn only what their teachers tell them to learn. When they find something that interests them, they will put their all into it. Again, they don’t completely shirk their responsibilities. They’ll learn enough about a subject to pass with a decent mark. While they were earning that B-minus in chemistry, they were busy designing a new computer program, or learning to shred like Jimi Hendrix. You can’t put a grade on that.
3. They follow their passions
Along with having other interests, they don’t let school get in the way of their passions. Many A students graduate having no clue what they even like to do, since they spent four years making the grade to please their parents and teachers. B students, on the other hand, graduate high school with a sigh of relief, knowing they’ll soon be able to go to school for something they enjoy. When B students are able to finally enjoy their studies, something incredible happens: They become A students.
4. They’re more relaxed
B students don’t always need to be the best or get top marks. Yes, they still freak out if they fail a test. But, they don’t set unrealistic expectations for themselves, and are often pretty happy with the results they get. Even when following their passion, they don’t lose their mind when they don’t get something right; they just practice harder for the next time.
5. They multitask
A students may lock themselves away for hours on end in order to study. B students, on the other hand, study in between reading up on the news, checking on other projects, and generally keeping up with the things that actually interest them. I’m not saying it’s good to have your phone out while you should be focusing on a task, but in most modern jobs you might have to juggle five different priorities at any given time. Being able to wear many hats is a necessity, and B students have practiced doing that for years.
6. They are “Jacks of all trades”
Although many B students have passions and priorities outside of school, many don’t know what their passion is yet. Because of this, they get involved in a variety of areas, testing the waters to see which they like most. In doing so, they often pick up enough to become much more than beginners in a variety of practices.
I’m not the best guitarist in the world, but considering it’s a small hobby of mine, I’m pretty darn good. Same with playing chess, fishing, writing, interpreting literature and poetry — the list goes on. My wife, who is in her final year of optometry school, tells me that a lot of people she’s met throughout her schooling are absolute master optometrists, but don’t have half the amount of knowledge I do about generally everything else in the world. I might not be a master at one thing, but I definitely am well-rounded enough to find a job in a variety of areas.
7. They’re entrepreneurial
Since they tend to follow their passion, and not just regurgitate what their teacher wants them to say, B students often think outside the box. They see something that can be improved and they work towards doing so. Necessity is the mother of invention, and the practical, critical thinker is usually the one who isn’t afraid to go against the grain a bit. While A students tend to toe the line, B students are the ones asking why there’s a line in the first place. They look at the world from an analytical position, and question policies and procedures they don’t agree with. While A students keep the world moving, B students are the ones that want to change it.
8. They’re easy to relate to
My mother teaches high school English, and this year has had the pleasure of having an absolute genius in her class. As a teacher, she loves it because she sees incredible potential in the young man. The other students, on the other hand, groan whenever he raises his hand, and it most likely stems from the fact that they have no idea what he’s talking about half the time. He’s just on another level. Again, this isn’t a dig at him, as being incredibly intelligent isn’t a bad thing at all. However, there’s something to be said for the people who can take complex ideas and bring them down to earth, so “us normal people” can understand. Being well-rounded and well-educated, while also maintaining a sense of “being real,” takes B students much farther than good grades ever will.
9. They’re realistic
B students are realistic about their goals, their accomplishments, and their abilities. They set goals that are attainable, and continue to set more goals once previous ones have been reached. B students usually tend to downplay their accomplishments. This might be because they know they could have achieved more with a bit more focus, or because they don’t place huge importance on extrinsic rewards. B students know that there are some things they just aren’t great at, and they accept that. By eliminating the drive to be the best at everything, they often excel at that which they wish to excel at.
10. They are self-defined
B students are not defined by a grade given to them by a teacher who is a master at that specific subject. They define their accomplishments and worth by what it means to them. The grade doesn’t matter — the experience does. It’s incredibly possible that many A students can go through high school without actually understanding anything, simply regurgitating notes the teacher gave them. However, it’s also possible that B students can perform above average most of the time, and earn A’s when they truly comprehend a topic and put their all into it. But again, the satisfaction does not come from earning a higher grade, but from knowing the job was done well.
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