One of the most common challenges students bring up when they’re asking about how to improve their grade has to do with how their friends study for class.
These questions inevitably lead me to wanting to bring up the safety dance…
The fine artistic lyrics of this super awesome ballad can teach you a lot about studying to get killer grades…
We can (study) if we want to.
We can leave your friends behind.
Your friends don’t (study)
And if they don’t (study) then they’re
No friends of mine…
Of course… I’m kidding. Mostly…
You don’t have to literally break up with your non-studying friends but there is a virtue in non-conformity. If you think your friends are doing something wrong then joining them in doing the wrong thing is just asking for trouble.
Are Your Friends Working For Or Against Your Future?
I define a friend as someone that I care about. I care about who they’ve been. I care about who they are. And I care about who they’re going to become. I want what’s best for them.
In college, a close friend of mine started to develop a bit of a drinking problem. I’ll call him Jason.
His drinking started to hurt his grades. Then it started to hurt some friendships. Then it started to hurt his chances of staying in school.
Jason would have “friends” at parties encouraging him to drink more. He would have “friends” telling him it will help. When my friend got drunk as hell, these supposed “friends” would make fun of Jason as they encouraged him to do stupid stuff.
These aren’t friends.
They didn’t give a damn about Jason’s future. Jason’s lucky he didn’t kill himself because of these “friends.”
By all means… friends don’t have to do and think just like you think but a good friend would never pull you away from something good.
A friend goes out of their way to help you. They may encourage you to slack (a little) because everyone deserves a break but be very careful with “friends.”
What Were Jason’s “Friends” Up To…
There is a behavior pattern that you’ll see repeatedly through your life once you start looking for it.
People want other people to do worse than them.
If someone is drinking too much, they will encourage other people around them to drink too much. This makes them feel less bad about drinking too much.
The worse someone feels about their behavior, the more they’re going to encourage other people to alleviate their guilt.
This isn’t intentional. This doesn’t just come from bad people doing bad things. This comes from regular people that would never do it if they’d realized what they were doing.
When a friend of yours says that you study too much, you need to decide whether this person is a trustworthy judge in the matter.
If your friend saying you study too much is scoring higher than you in class then they might be a good judge on the matter.
If your friend saying you study too much is scoring lower than you then it’s clear you two have different goals.
There is nothing wrong with different goals. As long as you make your goals clear to this friend then they should just roll their eyes and let you kick-ass.
Then there are the ‘friends’ that know nothing about your goals but will constantly try to make themselves feel better at your expense. Don’t let these people get to you. They’ll pester you. They’ll harass you. They’ll annoy you. They’ll do whatever they can because they’re desperate to comfort themselves.
Avoid these people. They’re not friends.
Making Learning A Team Effort
Learning anything is easier when you find someone that shares a similar goal to you.
You could be different from a person in just about every single way but if you share a goal with them then you’ll be able to make a great and productive friendship. It can improve your life and your grades.
It’s really that simple:
Share goals with a person.
When you find that person that you share a goal with, focus on that goal with that person.
If you’re taking a class with someone then that goal can be success in the specific class. You might be surprised how often that single specific shared goal can turn into a long-term friendship because a single shared goal is usually derived from thousands of similar experiences. If you’re close enough to share a goal then you’re close enough to have a friendship.
There is a correlation between the grades of your closest friends and the grades you’ll get.
If you spend time with students that care about their grades then:
- You’ll get constant reinforcement when you see them studying.
- They won’t distract you as much because they share your goals.
- They understand the reason you make these decisions.
- And you’ll enjoy each others company more because you can all get what you want.
These kinds of friendships can turn into super productive relationships in every sense of the word. They’re symbiotic. When you’re distracted, they can pull you back on track. When they’re distracted, you can pull them back. Every time you do this you reinforce everything that’s good about the relationship.
Don’t try to make ALL your friends this way because there is certainly a virtue to having friends that think differently but seriously… don’t spend all day with people that aren’t interested in you or your future.
Friends want to help you achieve your goals. They’ll be the ones helping you even when they don’t understand why you’re doing what you’re doing. As long as they think you’re doing good for yourself, they’ll be very slow to try and stop you.
Your friends will make your life run smoother. Your ‘friends’ are going to encourage you to take another drink because you’re so boring to them as you are.
I like you the way you are.
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