This is a question that drives attention to a concept that I find horribly depressing about most mainstream study advice:
I get alright grades in school but my parents tend to freak out over every subpar grade I get. They blame my friends. I think they might be right. I try to study with them and it never seems to work. They do tend to get much lower grades than me. I want to get into a good college and I’m afraid they’re a little bit of a distraction. What do you think?
Yes. I think your friends are a distraction. If you think they’re a distraction then they probably are. That’s not the important question though. The real important question is whether you want to let some arbitrary scores dictate the people that you’re friends with.
The vast majority of students make their friends based on dumb luck in school. They spend hours and hours in school and occasionally they stumble into another person that’s a good distraction from the monotony of school. These friends tend to get along but most of them are more friends of convenience than friends of shared interests.
Would you still be friends with these people if you didn’t go to school with them? Would you regularly go to hang out with them? Would you enjoy their company? If the answer is yes then I think you need to reassess your priorities a little.
Teachers and parents love to blame friends because it tends to move the responsibility off the parents and teachers. Students tend to hang out with people they’re compatible with. If students are compatable with a “bad crowd” then that says something about the parents and the teachers. Naturally, it’s directly saying something about the student as well. This is the fact that most people try to avoid considering.
I don’t know what kind of a “bad crowd” you’re being accused of hanging out with but I’ve seen plenty of bad crowds that are smart and end up better off than average. I’ve seen plenty of good crowds that end up doing unbelievably stupid and dangerous things. This is a distinction that is up to you to make. The people around you can only see so much. It’s ultimately up to you.
I’m leading to a single fundamental point. You don’t need to choose between friends and good grades. If you’re studying right then very little studying can produce great results. Use this blog to get more details on that. With a little balance, you can have both. Any teachers or parents that try to tell you otherwise are wrong and unbelievably misguided.
Good friends MAY take up too much time to make perfect grades (or near perfect.) That’s because perfect goals are so ridiculously time intensive that they are hardly worth going for. I would never recommend perfection for just that reason. I
n fact, given the choice between friends and perfect grades, I’d recommend friends every single time. (As you get older you’ll notice that friendships end up giving you pleasure, jobs, and virtually anything else you’re looking for.)
I can’t tell you if you’re hanging out with a good set of people. I can’t tell you if you they’re hurting your grades dramatically. I can tell you not to let other people screw up what your priorities are.
Do you want to study in less than 15 minutes a night while aceing your tests? That’s what this blog is about. Be sure to follow, check out the archives, and read the ebooks in the sidebar for all the details.
Aaron Richardson took his grades from fighting F’s to Easy A’s. In the process, he read over 300 books on personal development. Today he’s founded 2 blogs on studying including Smart Student Secrets. He’s written 3 books on the subject. His work has been featured on some of the biggest news, psychology, and student sites on the internet.
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