When George W.Bush delivered the commencement address at Southern Methodist University, he offered students food for thought. Speaking from personal experience, the former president, who continues to divide opinion, said, "To those of you who are graduating this afternoon with high honors, awards, and distinctions, I say, ‘Well done.And as I like to tell the C students: You too, can be president."
No doubt many reading that will be of the opinion that Bush could only have been a C-student. It would explain his incompetence as president, right? If that's the case, then you're misreading the point. What Bush was trying to say was that grades aren't everything. After all, while a C-grade is acceptable, it's never been seen as desirable. So with that in mind, here are seven surprising reasons why C-students can often do better after graduation than their straight- A peers.
1. They usually understand what they want from the get-go
The issue with many gifted students is how caught up they get in chasing that first letter of the alphabet. It's not a bad thing per se, but it usually gives them less of an opportunity to see the bigger picture of what they want to do outside of education.
As an example, C students, tend to be more in the know about their future and aren't going to take additional classes when they could be focusing on outside projects that are more suited to their passions.
2. They have greater levels of work experience
In most cases, A students come from wealthy families. C students normally have more responsibilities with financial situations at home, meaning they have less time to devote to their studies.
What they do have, however, is more firsthand experience in the job market. It may seem like a disadvantage, but it's common knowledge that those with limited amounts of work experience aren't going to be viewed as favourably as those who do.
3. They build stronger networks
While they may not be blessed with a photographic memory, C students usually have better success at contacting the right people and making sure they are in prime position for the job.
After all, they know they won't be able to match many of their competitor's grades, but managing to build a good contacts book and gain the relevant experience needed often puts their CV above the more academically gifted.
4. They know the importance of letting go
Everyone needs to let loose every once in a while, and those that do are often the better for it. Why? Because they won't be going stir-crazy in their rooms fretting over that one wrong question that could have got them that perfect 100% score. No, C students are usually improving their social skills and having fun in the process.
That's not to say C students don't revise- they do. In fact, they probably do just as much otherwise many wouldn't even get a C. What they do have, however, is happiness. And no matter how smart you are, if you can't relax and learn to enjoy life, then you'll likely be less impressionable to employers.
5. They find a quicker way to do something
High achieving students are perfectionists, and they can spend hours fretting over something that could have quickly been done in half the time. C students are more likely to look at the problem and see the easiest solution to completing it.
It may sound lazy, but it saves time and additional hours worrying about a paper that shouldn't take up your whole month. As the famous founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, said, "I will always choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because he will find an easy way to do it”.
6. They follow their dreams
You'd think high-flying academic achievers would be hell-bent on world domination and achieving their goals. But it's often the opposite. In fact, you're more likely to hear C students and even dropouts far more enamoured with the idea of chasing their dreams. The reason? They're not afraid of failure. They're used to it and have had a barrage of people telling them they can't be this, or they can't do that because they weren't smart enough. So what do they do? They follow their own path.
Richard Branson was dyslexic and dropped out of school at 15. F. Scott Fitzgerald was heavily dyslexic too, yet that didn't stop him writing one of the greatest novels of all time. As for your A-students? They're often too scared to hear the words failure and instead will merely apply for a job and settle into an environment where they know they can excel in line with what many deem to be successful: a steady job, a good wage, and kudos from their peers and parents.
7. They know how it feels to struggle and live with hardship
Most forms of success are the result of rejection, determination, and mental strength. And C students have the latter in abundance. For instance, C students are often told that they're are not smart enough for the more competitive jobs. So what do most do? They get creative and create jobs rather than apply for them.
It's important to note that grades are indicators of how well you grasped specific academic modules. That is all they are. So whether you're an A grade or C grade student, it doesn't matter in the long run. What is important is that you chase something that makes you happy. And more often than not, you won't find that in the classroom.