Former Straight A Students Reveal Why Their Grades Took A Turn For The Worse
Life comes at you fast. As a student coming up through the education system, nothing is more important than your grades. Good grades leads to a good future, excellent rewards in the form of money or trips to the skating rink, and the knowledge that you've done good work and made your teacher happy. That doesn't last forever, though, and even the brightest of students can dim to a low wisp, especially with all the unrealistic modern expectations thrust upon them.
Reddit user, u/Dotaspasm, wanted to know about these dropouts when they asked:
People who used to be straight A students but later changed, what happened?
When School Catches Up With You
I used to get A's without trying. I coasted through secondary school and the first year of college (I'm in the UK). Didn't revise for exams, didn't do homework and still got good grades.
Then the second year of college came around and it was a completely different ball game. I trashed my second year and had to resit. I'm at university now but I still have that laziness that if I'd worked hard from the beginning I wouldn't have a problem with.
Sometimes, Passing Is Enough
When I realised that I could get 80% of the result with just 10% of the work, I settled for B's and a few C's
What Do Your Classmates Get?
Do you have any outside sources telling you you have to make all A's?
I struggled with that when I was in high school until I started helping my English teacher grade papers and that's when I realized that my peers were getting A's (the same grades as me) for what I considered to be low effort work.
It's also important to kind of let yourself slide sometimes because putting maximum effort into every class in college is going to burn you out. I'm in my third year of college now and one of my friends is a freshman, he called me lazy for putting minimal effort into homework in a class we shared and for bullsh-tting some essay questions that I didn't really know, just threw some key terms in there. He was always stressed out from his workload but we ended up making the same grade in that class in the end.
Other Things Come Up
I lost interest. I felt myself becoming dumber.
I realised that college is hard and not as easy as aceing school. But that did stop me from feeling like I lost it.
On The Wrong Path
I was forced to transfer schools for fighting back against a bully.
And was misdiagnosed as having Aspergers, so they stuck me in a special ed class.
A Hard Path
I started missing lots of school due to anxiety and depression and developed gaps in my knowledge of really simple stuff that I was too embarrassed to fill in. It snowballed into me missing more school and not trying to get a tutor and fix the problem
What's The Return on Hard WOrk?
I did a cost/benefit analysis based on my own levels of happiness and comfort.
Essentially there are diminishing returns to working hard, and potentially high costs to mental health
The Paper That Breaks You
My junior year of high school, I got my first C.
It was for a research project.
In math class.
I was pissed that I had to write a freaking paper for a math class, so I didn't finish it. I was fine with it. To give this more context, I hated writing papers, with a passion.
Loss Of A Loved One
A very close person died in a car accident. She probably loved me and I never told her my feelings. I loved her. We could talk about everything. Sitting on a bench and just watching the river, talking for hours was one of the best experience I have ever had.
She also introduced me to ballroom dancing. Which I lucky started again after a 4 years break.
It still haunts me that I never told her. I always ask myself "what if she loved me too"
Loneliness Takes Over
As an introvert, making friends in college and university was way too hard for me. So i just got so alone. Supposed to finish my degree last August, but i couldn't get my sh-t together. Failed 3 papers in that last semester. And here I am struggling to finish off my studies.
But, People Are So Fun
Combination of...I started smoking weed and started caring more about socializing after school than doing homework and studying.
Dance With Mary Jane
Same. Being a nerd in high school got me into a prestigious college, then I started drinking which really loosened me up. I definitely went a little (lot) overboard and my grades suffered for it. Getting drunk instead of going to class was pretty stupid in retrospect, but I still graduated with a ~B average and got a job. Applying to my next job a couple years later, they didn't even ask my GPA. I wouldn't do it any different. The social skills I gained from partying have paid off a lot more today than being better at thermodynamics would have.
Let's All Agree, Algebra Is The Worst
I got my first B in Algebra I in seventh grade. I just had a lot of trouble understanding the processes and doing them exactly the way teachers wanted. Didn't help that my dad tried teaching me shortcuts that weren't in the standardized curriculum, confusing me even more. I cried when I got that first B.
I cried and said I'd accept whatever punishment my parents deemed fit, because up until this point academic perfection had been expected of me. I tried my best and didn't get an A, so obviously I hadn't tried my best, right? There was always more I thought I could do. It took struggling through Pre Cal in highschool and failing the last quarter before I realized it's okay to suck at math.
Being A Doctor Is Hard. Who Knew?
Medical school lol. I still do pretty well, but the level of dedication needed to score in the A range is way higher than college ever required
Mario And Link Are Ruining Lives
Straight A student from freshman to junior year of highschool. Got distracted too much (mainly videogames) during my senior year and my grades dropped. Luckily I still managed to get into the best university in my country. Got waaaay fat.
Then in university I kept on giving in to videogames and had this mentality of winging it. Got lazy af. I graduated with an average of about B to B+, compared to most of my classmates who all got averages of about A to A-.
Luckily I did well in the entrance test and I got into the best law school in my country. Incoming freshman. Also managed to slim down. I gotta stop being so lazy now knowing I could easily mess things up there, especially with the drop out rate being so high an indication of future difficulties.
Do As I Say
Being popular takes a lot of time away from homework.
It's the right decision. Always be popular. Unless you're my kids, then you get that damn homework done.
When Everyone's Judging You
Straight As up to 7th grade, but I was ostracized for being "the smart kid", and desperately wanted to just be normal, so I permanently became more apathetic towards good grades and remained a B/C student, to graduate college with a 2.7 GPA. I was studying like 2 hours max on every test I ever took, never pulled an all-nighter, and was completely ok with just not even trying the hardest problem on the math sheet and turning it in 95% complete. Still got the internships/job though, so no regrets.
Git. It. Done.
Got a job in my field during school and realized how insignificant grades truly are.
Barring certain fields, grades don't mean that much. People are more interested in you getting things done competently.
Second Year Woes
I got easy A's all my life without trying. Never tried on my homework or studied at all. Passed AP courses/exams and entered college with ample credits. First year of college was a breeze as well. However, Second year hit me like a train. I wasn't partying too hard or anything, just the courses became significantly more difficult. I barely skirted by and was incredibly worried about losing my scholarships which required I maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA.
- Second year I learned how to study for tests
- Third year I learned to do homework (more so, doing the homework to learn instead of doing the homework as required). If I was comfortable with a subject I would complete it, if I still struggled with the concept, then I would do unassigned work until I fully grasped it.
- Fourth Year once again felt easy, but I was actually trying this time. I did manage to ruin an exam "rounding" because in a class of 200 people, I was the only one to get a 100% on the midterm.
Let It All Go
Went through a really bad mental health patch where school work became quite a low priority. I realised through that, that I was wasting too much of my time end effort on something that didn't matter.
I'm in uni now, and still get relatively good grades, but I don't let them control my life.
Money > Letters
I graduated and started getting paid real money for my efforts instead of accepting the first letter of the alphabet as adequate compensation for all my hard work.