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People Who Did Poorly In School But Have Great Jobs Now Explain The Secret Of Their Success

People Who Did Poorly In School But Have Great Jobs Now Explain The Secret Of Their Success
Image by Jan Vašek from Pixabay

School isn't a totally accurate barometer for success. It's often said geniuses like Albert Einstein did very poorly in school, but went on to have extremely fulfilling careers.

When we are in school, though, we are taught to believe that we must become factory robots who produce straight As or else our future will be flushed down the drain. While this is not always the case--sometimes, the system in the United States really does work against those with lower GPAs and less opportunities.

But those stories that circumnavigated that hardship are inspirational.

u/asensetive asked:

Successful people who got crappy grades in high school or college - what are you doing now and how did (or didn't) your grades affect your success/career?

Here were some of those answers.

Planes, Trains, and More Planes

I almost failed my last year of High school. I have no idea how but I managed to pass lol

I'll always have a little resentment for this. My parents forced me to go to college and I didn't even know what I wanted to do. I enjoyed animating at the time, I just didn't know if I wanted that as a career. The only class I thoroughly enjoyed was Drama. I liked acting, I was in ALL the school plays. So... I went with trying to become a teacher to teach that course. It went alright until my YouTube channel was doing GOOD. My animations were skyrocketing and I realized I wanted to that instead of school... but. My idiot mind didn't handle it well then I got kicked out of University at my 2nd year. So I spent a long time animating... then my channel got shut down for no reason. F**k you YouTube. Then my fiancé left me after that.

I was in a dark place for a long time. But out of the blue my buddy asked me if I wanted a job in a components shop for Aviation. They said they "needed an idiot to wash parts" and... I wasn't working. I needed money so I was like "yeah!" And I showed up the next day. I showed up an hour early regularly, I was genuinely interested in what was going on. I think both my manager and my boss noticed. I liked being there. I think my first week there as a temporary employee I did overtime. Like on a Friday I worked till 9 lol. So they obviously saw I was a brand new ace in the hole. After 4 months they hired me full time and now they're sending me to school. I got my level 1 AME license done and I'll be going for level 2 next January

It became a dream job after I arrived and I'm so happy to be where I'm at. My grades didn't matter. They just saw I was a hard worker... and now. I have my life together again.


Creativity Knows No Math

I did really badly in school. I hated it because I struggled with maths and with writing. I had good ideas but couldn't seem to get them onto the paper. I left school and worked in a shop Then I joined an acting class and eventually got into drama school in London. Learned to touch type as a way of writing comedy sketches....did well. Now I'm a professional writer. Turns out I have dysgraphia and dyscalculia. Took me 15 years to work that out.


It's Always Creatives

Got tired of high school, so I quit and did different jobs. In my mid 20's I started doing webdesign courses and found out I really loved it. Used all my savings (and got some help from my mom) to put life on hold for a few years and went to finish my high school degree, start college and get my degree to become a webdesigner. At 29 I got a permanent job at the place I interned and get to do design work and front end development in a small web agency and I love it ^^


It's Not One Size Fits All

This is me but let me explain something first.

Some kids respond better to different teachers and different environments in different schools. I feel there are very few bad teachers, it's just some teachers don't gel with some kids.

First school I went to, I was bottom at everything, went to a new school and suddenly didn't just excel, I became top at maths and IT. Next school, right to the bottom again, next school, I went into the top few in some subjects, even doing some exams early.

I then went to college and flunked everything because I discovered girls and how being a DJ got me lots of sex.

After leaving college early, working abroad, etc. I setup a company renting lighting and sound equipment, bought property, sold the company and now I own a software company that in 3 years has taken huge contracts from our competitors and still growing fast.

I do have a high IQ, it's just my parents didn't motivate me regarding school, so I got lousy grades. The same was true for my father. My son is the opposite and is super academic.

I also worked really hard for really long hours, and still do.

Getting rich is not easy, if it was, we all would be millionaires. You are competing against the rest of the planet and you have to convince people that you are better than others so they should give you loads of money.

Life is either a huge stressful competition, or you can have an easy life and do something that you enjoy.

Money is not the the only measurement of success, it is for some, but others are happy with living day by day with no stress and doing a job they love. I wish sometimes I was the latter.


Youth Ain't Everyone's Peak

I was a "Mess up" in HS - summer school every summer, barely graduated, not even a C average. Took a crack at the State U; got put out in short order. Got fired from a string of jobs because I was nineteen and I had a lot of attitude. Got a job in a factory building machinery. Had to go in the Army. Drank, worked as bartender and bouncer. Finally graduated the State U at 36; started law school at fifty, downtown office now. Life is far from perfect but it's vastly better than it was in my youth. Don't give up on yourself, don't sell yourself short, don't buy into negativity! You are not "struggling" - you are on a journey!


School Ain't My Place

Dropped out of highschool, got my GED, tried college but realized it just wasn't for me. I joined the Us Army and while I was enlisted I realized that I'm just going to have to figure my own way because I can't stand school. So I made my own way, learned to code 25 years ago and have done very well for myself. My brother has a similar story but he didn't even bother trying college. He's followed his dreams and made successful careers out of his hobbies. Just because school doesn't work out for you don't think less of yourself and don't underestimate your value.


A Nice Start

I'm in IT. Got bad grades all through high school because I didn't apply myself and took 8 years of online classes to make it through college with "Get a C and get a Degree mentality".

In the long run it didn't really hurt me, but it did make my path to get to my current position a little more convoluted. I ended up joining the Army since my prospects were slim initially and was able to get entry level experience and turn my security clearance into a nice start in the civilian world once I got out.

If I had to do it over again I might do things different, but I don't regret any decision.


Toxic Parenting

I was a bad student in high school, but managed to pass.

In college/grad school, I think what helped me do a lot better was the fact that my parents weren't involved. I am 100% a believer of this. My parents were "involved" in my work all the time — making me tell them about my tests/quizzes/projects so that they'd always know to ask about my grade in it later. They always knew.

One stretch of time in 8th grade, I remember just going 'screw it' and not telling them anything. After ~1mo or so, my dad called the teacher and she told him all my test grades — all of which were in the B-range; a lot better than usual, at the time. There was no acknowledgement of being impressed with my independent performance. The big issue was that I never told them about these tests/grades. That was THE takeaway from that.

My parents always made it sound like a threat that when I finally went to college, they wouldn't be able to monitor my studies. And at the time, it was scary. But in reality, it was GREAT! I made honors three times (each level of school) — all without my parents breathing down my neck!

Now I work in a hospital


Once Again, Poor Metrics

I got fairly bad grades in highschool. My guidance counsellor told me to join the army and be an infantry soldier because I'd never go to university/college or be successful.

I ended up getting a BA and now I'm an ESL teacher. Currently looking at options to get fully certified and step up the teaching game.


Behind Peers

I was a terrible student in high school, bottom percentage of my class, had to take a summer class after graduation because I didn't pass economics. They let me walk but I didn't get my diploma until like, August.

I watched all my friends go off to colleges while I went to community college after getting rejected from a few schools I applied to. Eventually went to a four-year college and graduated in two years with ok grades, not great. I was an art major so my grades depended mostly on meeting deadlines and quality of the work. Forward 10 years, I went back for certificate degree then started to work in my field (design). Now I'm working for a multi-national corporation and making six figures.

So being a crappy student hindered my ability to stay on a timeline along with my peers, but didn't prevent me from a successful life as a working adult.


People Reveal The Weirdest Thing About Themselves

Reddit user Isitjustmedownhere asked: 'Give an example; how weird are you really?'

Let's get one thing straight: no one is normal. We're all weird in our own ways, and that is actually normal.

Of course, that doesn't mean we don't all have that one strange trait or quirk that outweighs all the other weirdness we possess.

For me, it's the fact that I'm almost 30 years old, and I still have an imaginary friend. Her name is Sarah, she has red hair and green eyes, and I strongly believe that, since I lived in India when I created her and there were no actual people with red hair around, she was based on Daphne Blake from Scooby-Doo.

I also didn't know the name Sarah when I created her, so that came later. I know she's not really there, hence the term 'imaginary friend,' but she's kind of always been around. We all have conversations in our heads; mine are with Sarah. She keeps me on task and efficient.

My mom thinks I'm crazy that I still have an imaginary friend, and writing about her like this makes me think I may actually be crazy, but I don't mind. As I said, we're all weird, and we all have that one trait that outweighs all the other weirdness.

Redditors know this all too well and are eager to share their weird traits.

It all started when Redditor Isitjustmedownhere asked:

"Give an example; how weird are you really?"

Monsters Under My Bed

"My bed doesn't touch any wall."

"Edit: I guess i should clarify im not rich."

– Practical_Eye_3600

"Gosh the monsters can get you from any angle then."

– bikergirlr7

"At first I thought this was a flex on how big your bedroom is, but then I realized you're just a psycho 😁"

– zenOFiniquity8

Can You See Why?

"I bought one of those super-powerful fans to dry a basement carpet. Afterwards, I realized that it can point straight up and that it would be amazing to use on myself post-shower. Now I squeegee my body with my hands, step out of the shower and get blasted by a wide jet of room-temp air. I barely use my towel at all. Wife thinks I'm weird."

– KingBooRadley


"In 1990 when I was 8 years old and bored on a field trip, I saw a black Oldsmobile Cutlass driving down the street on a hot day to where you could see that mirage like distortion from the heat on the road. I took a “snapshot” by blinking my eyes and told myself “I wonder how long I can remember this image” ….well."

– AquamarineCheetah

"Even before smartphones, I always take "snapshots" by blinking my eyes hoping I'll remember every detail so I can draw it when I get home. Unfortunately, I may have taken so much snapshots that I can no longer remember every detail I want to draw."

"Makes me think my "memory is full.""

– Reasonable-Pirate902

Same, Same

"I have eaten the same lunch every day for the past 4 years and I'm not bored yet."

– OhhGoood

"How f**king big was this lunch when you started?"

– notmyrealnam3

Not Sure Who Was Weirder

"Had a line cook that worked for us for 6 months never said much. My sous chef once told him with no context, "Baw wit da baw daw bang daw bang diggy diggy." The guy smiled, left, and never came back."

– Frostygrunt


"I pace around my house for hours listening to music imagining that I have done all the things I simply lack the brain capacity to do, or in some really bizarre scenarios, I can really get immersed in these imaginations sometimes I don't know if this is some form of schizophrenia or what."

– RandomSharinganUser

"I do the same exact thing, sometimes for hours. When I was young it would be a ridiculous amount of time and many years later it’s sort of trickled off into almost nothing (almost). It’s weird but I just thought it’s how my brain processes sh*t."

– Kolkeia

If Only

"Even as an adult I still think that if you are in a car that goes over a cliff; and right as you are about to hit the ground if you jump up you can avoid the damage and will land safely. I know I'm wrong. You shut up. I'm not crying."

– ShotCompetition2593

Pet Food

"As a kid I would snack on my dog's Milkbones."

– drummerskillit

"Haha, I have a clear memory of myself doing this as well. I was around 3 y/o. Needless to say no one was supervising me."

– Isitjustmedownhere

"When I was younger, one of my responsibilities was to feed the pet fish every day. Instead, I would hide under the futon in the spare bedroom and eat the fish food."

– -GateKeep-

My Favorite Subject

"I'm autistic and have always had a thing for insects. My neurotypical best friend and I used to hang out at this local bar to talk to girls, back in the late 90s. One time he claimed that my tendency to circle conversations back to insects was hurting my game. The next time we went to that bar (with a few other friends), he turned and said sternly "No talking about bugs. Or space, or statistics or other bullsh*t but mainly no bugs." I felt like he was losing his mind over nothing."

"It was summer, the bar had its windows open. Our group hit it off with a group of young ladies, We were all chatting and having a good time. I was talking to one of these girls, my buddy was behind her facing away from me talking to a few other people."

"A cloudless sulphur flies in and lands on little thing that holds coasters."

"Cue Jordan Peele sweating gif."

"The girl notices my tension, and asks if I am looking at the leaf. "Actually, that's a lepidoptera called..." I looked at the back of my friend's head, he wasn't looking, "I mean a butterfly..." I poked it and it spread its wings the girl says "oh that's a BUG?!" and I still remember my friend turning around slowly to look at me with chastisement. The ONE thing he told me not to do."

"I was 21, and was completely not aware that I already had a rep for being an oddball. It got worse from there."

– Phormicidae

*Teeth Chatter*

"I bite ice cream sometimes."


"That's how I am with popsicles. My wife shudders every single time."


Never Speak Of This

"I put ice in my milk."


"You should keep that kind of thing to yourself. Even when asked."

– We-R-Doomed

"There's some disturbing sh*t in this thread, but this one takes the cake."

– RatonaMuffin

More Than Super Hearing

"I can hear the television while it's on mute."

– Tira13e

"What does it say to you, child?"

– Mama_Skip


"I put mustard on my omelettes."

– Deleted User


– NotCrustOr-filling

Evened Up

"Whenever I say a word and feel like I used a half of my mouth more than the other half, I have to even it out by saying the word again using the other half of my mouth more. If I don't do it correctly, that can go on forever until I feel it's ok."

"I do it silently so I don't creep people out."

– LesPaltaX

"That sounds like a symptom of OCD (I have it myself). Some people with OCD feel like certain actions have to be balanced (like counting or making sure physical movements are even). You should find a therapist who specializes in OCD, because they can help you."

– MoonlightKayla

I totally have the same need for things to be balanced! Guess I'm weird and a little OCD!

Close up face of a woman in bed, staring into the camera
Photo by Jen Theodore

Experiencing death is a fascinating and frightening idea.

Who doesn't want to know what is waiting for us on the other side?

But so many of us want to know and then come back and live a little longer.

It would be so great to be sure there is something else.

But the whole dying part is not that great, so we'll have to rely on other people's accounts.

Redditor AlaskaStiletto wanted to hear from everyone who has returned to life, so they asked:

"Redditors who have 'died' and come back to life, what did you see?"


Happy Good Vibes GIF by Major League SoccerGiphy

"My dad's heart stopped when he had a heart attack and he had to be brought back to life. He kept the paper copy of the heart monitor which shows he flatlined. He said he felt an overwhelming sensation of peace, like nothing he had felt before."



"I had surgical complications in 2010 that caused a great deal of blood loss. As a result, I had extremely low blood pressure and could barely stay awake. I remember feeling like I was surrounded by loved ones who had passed. They were in a circle around me and I knew they were there to guide me onwards. I told them I was not ready to go because my kids needed me and I came back."

"My nurse later said she was afraid she’d find me dead every time she came into the room."

"It took months, and blood transfusions, but I recovered."


Take Me Back

"Overwhelming peace and happiness. A bright airy and floating feeling. I live a very stressful life. Imagine finding out the person you have had a crush on reveals they have the same feelings for you and then you win the lotto later that day - that was the feeling I had."

"I never feared death afterward and am relieved when I hear of people dying after suffering from an illness."



The Light Minnie GIF by (G)I-DLEGiphy

"I had a heart surgery with near-death experience, for me at least (well the possibility that those effects are caused by morphine is also there) I just saw black and nothing else but it was warm and I had such inner peace, its weird as I sometimes still think about it and wish this feeling of being so light and free again."


This is why I hate surgery.

You just never know.



"More of a near-death experience. I was electrocuted. I felt like I was in a deep hole looking straight up in the sky. My life flashed before me. Felt sad for my family, but I had a deep sense of peace."



"Nursing in the ICU, we’ve had people try to die on us many times during the years, some successfully. One guy stood out to me. His heart stopped. We called a code, are working on him, and suddenly he comes to. We hadn’t vented him yet, so he was able to talk, and he started screaming, 'Don’t let them take me, don’t let them take me, they are coming,' he was scared and yelling."

"Then he yelled a little more, as we tried to calm him down, he screamed, 'No, No,' and gestured towards the end of the bed, and died again. We didn’t get him back. It was seriously creepy. We called his son to tell him the news, and the son said basically, 'Good, he was an SOB.'”



"My sister died and said it was extremely peaceful. She said it was very loud like a train station and lots of talking and she was stuck in this area that was like a curtain with lots of beautiful colors (colors that you don’t see in real life according to her) a man told her 'He was sorry, but she had to go back as it wasn’t her time.'"


"I had a really similar experience except I was in an endless garden with flowers that were colors I had never seen before. It was quiet and peaceful and a woman in a dress looked at me, shook her head, and just said 'Not yet.' As I was coming back, it was extremely loud, like everyone in the world was trying to talk all at once. It was all very disorienting but it changed my perspective on life!"


The Fog

"I was in a gray fog with a girl who looked a lot like a young version of my grandmother (who was still alive) but dressed like a pioneer in the 1800s she didn't say anything but kept pulling me towards an opening in the wall. I kept refusing to go because I was so tired."

"I finally got tired of her nagging and went and that's when I came to. I had bled out during a c-section and my heart could not beat without blood. They had to deliver the baby and sew up the bleeders. refill me with blood before they could restart my heart so, like, at least 12 minutes gone."


Through the Walls

"My spouse was dead for a couple of minutes one miserable night. She maintains that she saw nothing, but only heard people talking about her like through a wall. The only thing she remembers for absolute certain was begging an ER nurse that she didn't want to die."

"She's quite alive and well today."


Well let's all be happy to be alive.

It seems to be all we have.

Man's waist line
Santhosh Vaithiyanathan/Unsplash

Trying to lose weight is a struggle understood by many people regardless of size.

The goal of reaching a healthy weight may seem unattainable, but with diet and exercise, it can pay off through persistence and discipline.

Seeing the pounds gradually drop off can also be a great motivator and incentivize people to stay the course.

Those who've achieved their respective weight goals shared their experiences when Redditor apprenti8455 asked:

"People who lost a lot of weight, what surprises you the most now?"

Redditors didn't see these coming.

Shiver Me Timbers

"I’m always cold now!"

– Telrom_1

"I had a coworker lose over 130 pounds five or six years ago. I’ve never seen him without a jacket on since."

– r7ndom

"140 lbs lost here starting just before COVID, I feel like that little old lady that's always cold, damn this top comment was on point lmao."

– mr_remy

Drawing Concern

"I lost 100 pounds over a year and a half but since I’m old(70’s) it seems few people comment on it because (I think) they think I’m wasting away from some terminal illness."

– dee-fondy

"Congrats on the weight loss! It’s honestly a real accomplishment 🙂"

"Working in oncology, I can never comment on someone’s weight loss unless I specifically know it was on purpose, regardless of their age. I think it kind of ruffles feathers at times, but like I don’t want to congratulate someone for having cancer or something. It’s a weird place to be in."

– LizardofDeath

Unleashing Insults

"I remember when I lost the first big chunk of weight (around 50 lbs) it was like it gave some people license to talk sh*t about the 'old' me. Old coworkers, friends, made a lot of not just negative, but harsh comments about what I used to look like. One person I met after the big loss saw a picture of me prior and said, 'Wow, we wouldn’t even be friends!'”

"It wasn’t extremely common, but I was a little alarmed by some of the attention. My weight has been up and down since then, but every time I gain a little it gets me a little down thinking about those things people said."

– alanamablamaspama

Not Everything Goes After Losing Weight

"The loose skin is a bit unexpected."

– KeltarCentauri

"I haven’t experienced it myself, but surgery to remove skin takes a long time to recover. Longer than bariatric surgery and usually isn’t covered by insurance unless you have both."

– KatMagic1977

"It definitely does take a long time to recover. My Dad dropped a little over 200 pounds a few years back and decided to go through with skin removal surgery to deal with the excess. His procedure was extensive, as in he had skin taken from just about every part of his body excluding his head, and he went through hell for weeks in recovery, and he was bedridden for a lot of it."

– Jaew96

These Redditors shared their pleasantly surprising experiences.


"I can buy clothes in any store I want."

– WaySavvyD

"When I lost weight I was dying to go find cute, smaller clothes and I really struggled. As someone who had always been restricted to one or two stores that catered to plus-sized clothing, a full mall of shops with items in my size was daunting. Too many options and not enough knowledge of brands that were good vs cheap. I usually went home pretty frustrated."

– ganache98012

No More Symptoms

"Lost about 80 pounds in the past year and a half, biggest thing that I’ve noticed that I haven’t seen mentioned on here yet is my acid reflux and heartburn are basically gone. I used to be popping tums every couple hours and now they just sit in the medicine cabinet collecting dust."

– colleennicole93

Expanding Capabilities

"I'm all for not judging people by their appearance and I recognise that there are unhealthy, unachievable beauty standards, but one thing that is undeniable is that I can just do stuff now. Just stamina and flexibility alone are worth it, appearance is tertiary at best."

– Ramblonius

People Change Their Tune

"How much nicer people are to you."

"My feet weren't 'wide' they were 'fat.'"

– LiZZygsu

"Have to agree. Lost 220 lbs, people make eye contact and hold open doors and stuff"

"And on the foot thing, I also lost a full shoe size numerically and also wear regular width now 😅"

– awholedamngarden

It's gonna take some getting used to.

Bones Everywhere

"Having bones. Collarbones, wrist bones, knee bones, hip bones, ribs. I have so many bones sticking out everywhere and it’s weird as hell."

– Princess-Pancake-97

"I noticed the shadow of my ribs the other day and it threw me, there’s a whole skeleton in here."

– bekastrange

Knee Pillow

"Right?! And they’re so … pointy! Now I get why people sleep with pillows between their legs - the knee bones laying on top of each other (side sleeper here) is weird and jarring."

– snic2030

"I lost only 40 pounds within the last year or so. I’m struggling to relate to most of these comments as I feel like I just 'slimmed down' rather than dropped a ton. But wow, the pillow between the knees at night. YES! I can relate to this. I think a lot of my weight was in my thighs. I never needed to do this up until recently."

– Strongbad23

More Mobility

"I’ve lost 100 lbs since 2020. It’s a collection of little things that surprise me. For at least 10 years I couldn’t put on socks, or tie my shoes. I couldn’t bend over and pick something up. I couldn’t climb a ladder to fix something. Simple things like that I can do now that fascinate me."

"Edit: Some additional little things are sitting in a chair with arms, sitting in a booth in a restaurant, being able to shop in a normal store AND not needing to buy the biggest size there, being able to easily wipe my butt, and looking down and being able to see my penis."

– dma1965

People making significant changes, whether for mental or physical health, can surely find a newfound perspective on life.

But they can also discover different issues they never saw coming.

That being said, overcoming any challenge in life is laudable, especially if it leads to gaining confidence and ditching insecurities.