10 Things Only Straight-A Students Will Understand

10 Things Only Straight-A Students Will Understand

Ah, the typical straight-A student. If you felt a connection with Hermione Granger, Brian Johnson, or Carlton Banks, you know how it feels to be dedicated to maintaining your grades. As A students, we become brown-nosing, book-loving losers due to our unwavering dedication to earning top marks. Very rarely does excelling so brilliantly in other areas garner such widespread scorn. Here are 10 misconceptions about A-students that everyone with a 4.0 has certainly experienced.

1. People Think You Are Stuck-Up

When someone first learns that you are a good student, you probably see some wariness come over his expression. A-students are often perceived to have holier-than-thou attitudes, even if they remains genuinely friendly and helpful. A handful of vain, derisive geniuses seem to have ruined the reputation of straight-A students for good.


2. People Assume You Are Already Rich

If you have the time to study and earn A’s, you must not need to have a job to support yourself. Other students have a hard time believing that any person can effectively balance work and school to succeed at both. However, having a job doesn’t automatically disqualify a student from earning to marks. In fact, plenty of full-time workers are able to return to school — and excel! — by taking flexible specialized online programs that allow them to study while earning a salary.

3. People Think You Study Night and Day

According to other students, you should own hundreds of highlighters, keep organized binders of notes, and know all of the librarians by name. When you aren’t nose-deep in the course literature, you are flipping through flashcards and listening to your recorded lectures. The truth is no one can study that much and retain a 4.0 with any sanity intact.


4. People Also Think You Don’t Have to Try

Yet, even as people believe in your impossible studying standards, they do not believe that they can ever attain such excellent grades. To some students, your straight A’s are as mythical and elusive as a unicorn. No matter how often you explain that your grades come from dedication and moderation, most other students prefer to imagine that your smarts are absolutely innate.

5. People Expect You to Know Everything

Here’s a scenario you find all too familiar: A person wonders something aloud (“What are hiccups?”) and the entire group turns to you, expecting a thorough explanation. As a straight-A student, you should know the answers to every question — even if those questions fall well outside your sphere of knowledge. Worse, when you can’t immediately provide a satisfying solution, other students will inevitably mock your supposed intelligence.


6. People Don’t Believe You Have Other Interests

When you earn A’s in school, you immediately become one-dimensional; you are smart and studious, which means schoolwork must be your only hobby. However, most A-students harbor a wealth of interests outside what they study in school, including activities that aren’t commonly associated with 4.0s, like sports and music. Because A-students prioritize their academic effort above their other hobbies, other students may not know about their secret second lives as athletes and artists.

7. People Mark You as a Teacher’s Pet

People imagine the straight-A student as the one in the classroom with her hand waving high in the air. Other students often assume that the only way to get good grades is to suck up to the instructor in class and out, but most straight-A students let their work speak for itself. While you might ask the teacher the occasional question, you probably don’t need to go out of your way to garner a good reputation with your instructors.


8. People Think You Don’t Have a Social Life

The misconception goes like this: A-students have neither time nor energy (nor interest, nor ability) to attract and maintain friendships. While there is the occasional socially awkward A-student, most healthy 4.0s are awarded to students who know better than others how to manage their time. Even with 40 hours of work and 20 hours of studying, you have a full 52 waking hours to enjoy an active social life — and you probably do.

9. People Anticipate Your Nervous Breakdown

Every student feels the pressure of maintaining good grades, but straight-A students — who are often perfectionists seeking only the absolute best — can become even more stressed than most. You have undoubtedly experienced your share of anxiety and fear, and it is probable that you have let your tension show in your attitude, dress, or hygiene level. However, even when you are feeling most frazzled, you probably aren’t at risk for any dangerous mental episodes like those your fellow students eagerly look forward to.

10. People Expect You to Do Great Things After Graduation

Not every A-student is destined for a life of greatness, and pressure to excel after graduation can negatively impact an A-student’s performance. However, with any luck (and a firm understanding of who you are and what you want), this misconception will actually come true for you.

Featured photo credit: liquene via

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.


Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.


And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.


For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.


If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via

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