I have a confession: I was a good test taker and a terrible student. As late as my second year of college, if the weather pleased me, or if some event drew my attention, I would cut class and do what mattered to me.
I made a few Cs as a result.
But I also managed to retain sanity throughout the most stressful moments of my education. I focused on the classes that interested me most, figured out how to make grades I could live with in the others, and proceeded from there. Part of me does not want my students to follow such a pattern. Part of me does, and here’s why: instead of knowing what interests them, I see way too many students fool themselves into believing that making As is what interests them. An A can be a wonderful achievement. However, it seems a hollow one when it isn’t tethered to a larger goal.
Be deliberate. “Advance confidently in the direction of your dreams.” “Be bold, but not too bold.” Be more than your grades and your standardized test scores.