John Haltiwanger, a British journalist, wrote a provocative, thought-provoking article that’s worth its weight in gold. It has many parents relaxing or at least has calmed them down about the future success of their children.
Parents are often fearful that their school grades are an indication of how successful, or unsuccessful their children will be, according to their performance at school. For instance, the former president of the United States, George W. Bush, is known for his poor speaking skills, and speaking at the Southern Methodist University, he congratulated those who graduated with high honours but assured those students graduating with C grades that they also can be president. Of course, Bush was speaking about his success and his own mediocre grades in college.
He highlighted the fact that grades don’t necessarily dictate what one can do throughout his or her life. Life is full of possibilities. Regardless of how you see him as a president, he makes a very strong point. Statistics prove that numerous presidents of the United States also performed poorly in school, such as his father, George H. W. Bush, John F. Kennedy, and more. Moreover, there are staggering numbers of successful entrepreneurs in the country, and around the globe, who didn’t allow their poor performances in school to keep them from rising to the top.
Take, for example, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg, all of whom never finished college. Richard Branson, dyslexic and at age 15, dropped out of school, and look where he got. Elizabeth Holmes, who happens to be the youngest female billionaire, dropped out of college to fulfil her lifelong dreams, and is currently revolutionizing medicine.
No one can argue the fact that receiving an education is important, but there are many paths can lead to success and greatness. The key is that intelligence is subjective, and that said, academic achievement is not always the way it’s meant to be measured. Furthermore, the best preparation for what’s out there in the world is character and experiences that will determine one’s direction in life.
Success comes with passion and perseverance, emotional intelligence and learning from one’s own mistakes and failures. It’s probably why so many “C” students are running the world. They know what it feels like to struggle and overcome obstacles, much more than others who were successful in their studies.
No one is insinuating that anyone who gets poor grades will be guaranteed success. Not at all. The point is that you can still get to the top even if you don’t do well in school. Grades are merely arbitrary letters printed on a page. So don’t despair if you didn’t graduate with honours. Real education occurs once students leave the classroom and go out into the real world, one that’s full of ups and downs. Keep learning, never give up, and enjoy the journey.