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 flickr.com