10 things I wish people understood about being a “serious student”

There are several things that change instantly from high school to college, like a caterpillar to a winged fairy insect. One of those things is that people stop judging you for taking school seriously. No one is a nerd in college. No one is a suck up in college. No one has to be told to stop messing around during class, because nobody ever is messing around during class.

That's not what high school is like. In high school people still judge, and when you get labeled as a “serious student”, it’s not always a good thing. I was once one of those Serious (as appose to cool) students who tried hard and got good grades. These are 10 things I wish people had known about me. 

  1. I’m not afraid of failing

    When you see me nervously huddling over my notes before a test— or disgracefully unfolding my emotions after getting a sub-par grade—it’s not because I’m terrified of being a failure. It’s because I care about getting good grades. It’s obvious isn’t it? When you try this hard and you don’t get the result you want, it’s really frustrating. That’s all it is. Though no matter how bad of a grade I get, I know it’s not the end of the world, and I’ll be back in class tomorrow to make things right.  
     
  2. I’m not getting good grades because my parents want me too

    My parents do want me to get good grades, especially since I’ve been doing so since the Alphabet test. But that doesn’t mean I’m doing it only for them. I see the big picture and know that no matter how much my parents care or don’t care, eventually it will just be me benefiting from my successes.  
     
  3. I like being smart

    Everyone I look up to is super smart. John Green—he’s the man. Bill Nye—coolest dude there ever was. Tina Fey = goddess. I’m not at all ashamed to admit that being clever, being able to explain big ideas, and holding a top 10 score in QuizUp for my state are the type of things I get excited about.  
     
  4. I want to do things—not just keep learning. 

    Getting good grades is a great feeling, but I know that education isn’t everything. As I continue to study different subjects I hope to use what I learn to help out businesses and organizations that I think are accomplishing great things. A good education goes a long way but it’s not the only measure of success. 
     
  5. It’s not easy for me

    If being a serious student was easy then I wouldn’t be so serious about it. I study a lot, I force myself to pay attention in class, and I embarrassingly ask questions in the middle of a lecture. Oh, and I don’t cheat. 
     
  6. I still have friends

    I have friends, but luckily many of them are also serious students. Birds of a feather, you know? I’d say I’m just as social as any other student, just not in the middle of a test review. If I seem stand offish, then I’m sorry, I just have my game face on. 
     
  7. I don’t want others to fail

    Yes, I am competitive. That means I want to do good, and it may even mean that I want to do better than others. But still,  I don't want everyone to fail and I don't want people to revere me for the amount of AP classes I take. There’s plenty of room for serious students, and if you’re one then I say we join forces. 
     
  8. I don’t think I’m better than anyone else

    Getting good grades is my thing, it’s what I’m good at—but it doesn't have to be everyone’s thing. Some people get average grades and play amazing acoustic guitar. Some people play terrible guitar but enjoy it more than getting good grades. I understand this and I don’t look down on anyone because of what his or her GPA is. 
     
  9. I enjoy helping people 

    One of the coolest things about being a serious student is being able to explain complicated ideas to friends and family. I’m not looking to hold on to my knowledge and use it against everyone like some sort of evil villain—if you want some help with an assignment then I’d be glad to show you my notes.  
     
  10. I don’t know exactly what I’ll do with my life

    At the end of the day, I’m looking up out of the same hole as everyone else. Well, maybe it’s not a hole, but it’s certainly a somewhat scary place to be. I don’t know exactly what I’ll do after college, or even what I’ll do in college, but I do know that taking my education seriously will give me the power to be something that I can love and respect. 
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