High achiever? It depends.

When I went back to school in 2009, I was excited. I was ready to do my best; after all business talk is something I’ve always enjoy so studying it should be loads of fun. I remember thinking that the course material resembled the articles I would stop to read in a magazine anyway. But during my first workshop, the lecturer focussed more on taking a ‘personal journey’ to learn how to learn. He even went as far as saying that grades didn’t really matter and that if we averaged Cs, we were doing fine. My brain could not process this. What did he mean???

It is important to aim high and put your best foot forward. One way I thought hard work  is portrayed is through good grades. Back in the day, I’d go home to my parents after school and my dad would ask, ‘what did you make?’ I’d say a B or C. Then he’d ask if anyone got an A. I’d say yes and then he’d ask if the A student had two heads. And if not, why hadn’t I got an A as well? The result of this wasn’t all bad. At the very least, it made me what to be the best. But now I’m wondering, ‘what exactly is it that I want to be best at?’ Perhaps being able to learn new concepts, models and frameworks without the fear that I will not get the best grades is an achievement in itself. I’ll be more keen on certain topics than others and it may show up in the grade and that’s okay.

High achiever in the making (photographed by R "Doc Enigma")

The most important thing is I’m learning to learn without pressure. I’m meeting fantastic people. I’ve identified aspects of business that really give me a buzz and aspects that I’ll have to live with as they are part of the machine. It’s alright.

So, in the grand scheme of things, I’m amongst the high achievers (others may disagree). I’m getting some great grades and some okay ones. But mostly, I’m exploring new ways to think and embracing different perspectives that would have been alien to me eighteen months ago. At this rate, my dad may even say I’ve got two heads!

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