Earning Straight As

I Asked Someone What It's Like To Earn Straight A's, And His Answers Were Quite Shocking

"The teacher knows that you are smart."

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In every student body, you always have the select students that earn straight As (I earned straight As the first semester of my sophomore year in college, the only time I've ever done so). Many of them have different stories as to why and how they earn what they do. It may be strict parenting, it may be a journey of redemption.

However, this particular anonymous person took a different route when I asked him on Quora.

1. Pro: respect

"You are respected by teachers and most students across the school for your hard work and dedication to your studies. You will often get more nods from teachers in the corridors than any other person."

2. Pro: prestige

"The title comes with prestige. When you put your grades down on a CV or an application form for higher education, you will not hesitate to be proud."

3. Pro: the benefits

"Teachers will waive punishments or sanctions, for the most part, meaning that you will manage to avoid anything bad getting on your record. At my school, the punishment for being late is a detention. I have turned up late to some of my lessons on several accounts and managed to get away with it. Most of the time, I was even welcomed by the teacher."

4. Pro: no more deadlines

"Deadlines? Who needs deadlines? A simple talk to the teacher will mean that you are never punished for missing homework."

5. Pro: the know-it-alls

"You will have notoriety, meaning that you will be known in the school for knowing absolutely everything."

6. Pro: little white lies never hurt

"Lies go unnoticed. For example, my forgetful Physics teacher once told the class that we were to have an assessment the next week, despite an upcoming English exam that we needed to study for. Naturally, no one studied for the Physics test. On the day, when he mentioned printing the test off, I put my hand up and told him that it wasn't for today, but for the week after. He accepted my word for it so easily."

7. Pro: relaxation station

"When test results come back, and you say your score, people are impressed. They often go, 'Wow!' The teacher usually sets aside a lesson to improve on what we got wrong. Since you hardly got anything wrong, this lesson is essentially an opportunity to kick back and relax."

8. Pro: pleased parents

"Parents evenings are essentially praise evenings. You will go from teacher to teacher and will be complimented left right and center. Happy parents equals happy life."

9. Con: barely attainable expectations

"People have very high expectations of you. If you fail to meet these high expectations every time, it won't be a very pleasant situation."

10. Con: the dangers of competition

"There is a desire to always be the best. If that one person gets higher than you on a test, you will be angry and disappointed, even if you only got one mark less. People will also act shocked, which won't make the situation any better."

11. Con: quieted

"You can get barred from answering questions as the teacher knows that you are smart."

12. Con: pet peeves

"As a result, you often get frustrated when people ask stupid questions or give stupid answers, and you aren't allowed to contribute."

13. Con: repetition

"Lazy people will ask you what the task is even though the teacher literally just explained it."

14. Con: taken advantage of

"Lazy people will try and copy your answers without understanding it. They can then take credit for your good work."

15. Con: not in the in-group

"You are pathologized for your intelligence by the less intelligent."

16. Con: bullies and teasing

"You are made fun of for knowing everything."

17. Con: assumptions

"People immediately assume that you have no life and that you study all day."

18. Con: cheaters

"You can be made to sit with really unintelligent people, which has a negative impact on both parties. You are frustrated by their lack of maturity and work ethic, and they just copy all of your answers and learn nothing, even when you explain everything to them."

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Stop Discourging Future Teachers

One day, you'll be thankful for us.
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“What do you want to be when you grow up?" It seems like this is the question we heard from the time we were able to talk. Our answers started out as whatever movie or action figure was popular that year. I personally was going to be Cinderella and shoot spider webs out of my wrists at the same time. The next phase was spent choosing something that we read about in a book or saw in movies. We were aspiring to be actors, skydivers, and astronauts.

After we realized NASA may not necessarily be interested in every eager 10-year-old, we went through the unknown stage. This chapter of life can last a year or for some, forever. I personally did not have a long “unknown" stage. I knew I was going to be a teacher, more specifically I knew I wanted to do elementary or special education. I come from a family of educators, so it was no surprise that at all the Thanksgiving and Christmas functions I had actually figured it out. The excitement of knowing what to do with the rest of my life quickly grew and then began to dwindle just as fast.

“Why?"

"Well, looks like you'll be broke all your life."

“That's a lot of paperwork."

“If I could go back and do it again, I wouldn't choose this."

These are just a few replies I have received. The unfortunate part is that many of those responses were from teachers themselves. I get it, you want to warn and prepare us for the road we are about to go down. I understand the stress it can take because I have been around it. The countless hours of grading, preparing, shopping for the classroom, etc. all takes time. I can understand how it would get tiresome and seem redundant. The feeling a teacher has when the principal schedules yet another faculty meeting to talk an hour on what could've been stated in an email… the frustration they experience when a few students seem uncontrollable… the days they feel inadequate and unseen… the sadness they feel when they realize the student with no supplies comes from a broken home… I think it is safe to say that most teachers are some of the toughest, most compassionate and hardworking people in this world.

Someone has to be brave enough to sacrifice their time with their families to spend time with yours. They have to be willing to provide for the kids that go without and have a passion to spread knowledge to those who will one day be leading this country. This is the reason I encourage others to stop telling us not to go for it.

Stop saying we won't make money because we know. Stop saying we will regret it, because if we are making a difference, then we won't. Stop telling us we are wasting our time, when one day we will be touching hearts.

Tell us to be great, and then wish us good luck. Tell us that our passion to help and guide kids will not go unnoticed. Tell us that we are bold for trying, but do not tell us to change our minds.

Teachers light the path for doctors, police officers, firefighters, politicians, nurses, etc. Teachers are pillars of society. I think I speak for most of us when I say that we seek to change a life or two, so encourage us or sit back and watch us go for it anyways.

Cover Image Credit: Kathryn Huffman

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14 Honest College Things The Class Of 2023 Needs To Know ~Before~ Fall Semester

Sit down, be humble.

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To The Class of 2023,

Before you start your college career, please know:

1. Nobody...and I mean nobody gives a shit about your AP Calculus scores.

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" I got a 5 in Calc AB AND BC, a 5 in AP Literature, awh but I only got a 4 in AP Chem"

2. THE SAME GOES FOR YOUR SAT/ACT SCORES + nobody will know what you're talking about because they changed the test like 10 times since.

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3. College 8 AMs are not the same as your 0 period orchestra class in 12th grade.

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4. You're going to get rejected from a lot of clubs and that does not make you a failure.

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5. If you do get into your clubs, make sure not to overwhelm or overcommit yourself.

visual representation of what it looks like when you join too many clubs

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6. It's OK to realize that you don't want to be pre-med or you want to change majors.

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7. There will ALWAYS ALWAYS be someone who's doing better than you at something but that doesn't mean you're behind.

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8. "I'm a freshman but sophomore standin-" No, you don't have to clarify that, you'll sound like an asshole.

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9. You may get your first ever B-, C+ or even D OR EVEN A W in your life. College is meant to teach you how to cope with failure.

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10. Go beyond your comfort zone. Join a theatre club if you're afraid of public speaking. Join an animal rescue club if you're afraid of animals. College is learning more about yourself.

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11. Scholarships do exist. APPLY APPLY APPLY.

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12. Don't try to brag about all the stuff you did in high school, you'll just sound like a weenie hut jr. scout

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13. Understand and be sensitive to the fact that everybody around you has a different experience and story of getting to university.

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14. You're going to be exposed to people with different opinions and views, don't fight them. Instead, try to explain your perspective and listen to their reasoning as well.

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