Secret for You to Graduate and Beyond

This is a blog post for all college students who feel the need to graduate with flying colors.

Yes, you.

Yes, you.

To those students who are anxious with grades, I am sorry to tell you that although I want you to graduate with honors, but if everyone in your class is doing their best and getting high grades, only one will get the top 1 place. It is how this “awarding” work. An award is given to only one person who was able to outstand everyone according to the criteria set for that entitlement. So if you are very good in numbers but not so in philosophy you won’t get the top 1 place in your batch.  So… forget the grades.

What about you who don’t actually aim for being on top? You just need to pass the subject. You need to pass because if you don’t, you have to take the subject again which requires telling your  parents (which will get you scolded) and asking your parents to pay for the tuition fee again (which will get you scolded again) and the most terrifying thing is taking the subject without your friends with you in the same class. So, like your top students in your class, forget the grades.

What I want you to understand first before you continue reading the rest of this blog is forget the grades.

After working in four companies, I realized a simple truth about getting good grades in school.

It won’t get you far enough.

Sure, my academic award is written on my resume. But if the interviewer overlooked it, you’re doom. (Nyaks) All the blessing you thought your grades will bring will disappear in an instant. It happens. And even if they noticed and acknowledged it which made you cringed happily for a moment during the interview, it will only become another line of text on your resume as you work every day to meet deadlines. You resigned and moved to next company probably in search for a better salary or work experience. The interviewer will only ask question about your last work and, most likely, nothing about your school achievement. What projects were you involved in your last company? or How were you able to successfully implement the initiative in your previous employer?” And then everything becomes a cycle.

Students, what will really get you far is your curiosity.

“And how would that help me in my school?”

Stephen Hawking said.

Stephen Hawking said.

Most people in my generation don’t know where they should be heading. These are the people who have already achieved a good position and high salary from their work. But they are clueless on their journey. Some of them are working and living life like most of the common people around them but to those who are so fortunate to be conscious with how they should be spending their lives are feeling stagnant in one form or another. Before you hit this dead-end street of not knowing what to do next, I want you to take a step back and look how you study in your school today.

So for example…

You are enrolled as an engineering student so you probably have different forms of mathematics subjects in your curriculum. Have you ever wondered where you will use the advanced statistics or derivatives in your life? Or for me, I asked whether I will ever use the Accounting in my life because what I had always thought was that there are Accountants out there who can do them. Then I thought maybe in the future I would need it. After I received my first salary from my first company, I feel so anxious on how I should manage it. But thanks to my Accounting class, I was able to be mindful on how to maintain a positive profit always. Because I knew that Liabilities are debts, I try hard not to have debts. If I didn’t care enough to be curious to learn back then, maybe I ended up in debts. When I took the Operations Research, I knew then that it interests me so much that I had to learn more about it. Every exam was a perfection challenge because I had to make sure I learn everything about this very interesting subject. I don’t want to miss out even a speck of it. I am also interested in traveling so much that I always read articles about culture and people. With all of these interests in one pack, I can say I love everything about strategies and people management that they have become the theme of my advocacy. Another is Marketing. I barely passed my Marketing subject. I knew back then that I will not be a Sales or Marketing person in the future, ever. But I understand the basics because I was still curious enough to listen to my professor. Since I need it now in my current advocacy, I acknowledge the fact that I have to get help from people who are good at it.

don't stop

don’t stop

Be curious with the subjects you will take next semester.

Regardless if your curiosity will take you to a stop and allow you to take just a little or will lead you to a new interesting road, what is important is you take curiosity with higher importance today. You don’t actually have to be good at everything and stress yourself on a lot of things you have to learn. Nourish your curiosity as it deem necessary. So when you hit the dead-end of the street you are exploring, your curiosity will guide you if you have to stop in exploring that street or smash the wall to continue exploring a new road.

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Kids are so efficient in learning. After two years of mumbling random letters, they become fluent in conversation. They can understand and answer you in a language you didn’t even teach them full time. Kids are tremendous curious creatures. They observe. They listen. They copy. They create.  They do everything for their curiosity sake. Everything around them is too interesting not to learn them even if it means learning them on their own.

Oh, kid.

Oh, kid.

You, as a student, can do the same thing. Do not forget that once your childhood days you had tremendous curiosity burning so intense in you. It is still there. You just have to scratch it to feel it again. The beauty of curiosity is you enjoy learning. Learning becomes an exciting exploration because you are just filling an interest. You start to buy books, read articles, draw more, imagine the impossible or persevere in your experiments.

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Education is still a requirement for a reason. Don’t drag it.

You need it because you have to learn the things that have already been discovered by people who were born before you. Those things will become your foundation for the things that you want to pursue in your time in this world. Don’t fret on the advance statistics that you have to pass because maybe the things that you will learn in that subject will make you understand the behavior of your prospect customers in your future company.

Enjoy, curious being.

Enjoy, curious being.

Don’t be so caught up with grades.

Getting good grades and awards will get you only at the end of a small street. But curiosity will lead you so far you barely would be able to see where you have started. Open your mind by thinking that beyond that small street are hundreds of streets you can still explore.

Once your curiosity is up and running, I promise, all the right awards or accomplishments will find you along with an adventurous life you can enjoy.