Students at school

School success is important, but it isn't everything. Do your best, but don't consider it the measure of your worth as a person. Do your best, but don't get caught up in comparing yourself to others or trying to be perfect.

Peer pressure on boys/men is most often in the negative direction. Sorry to say this, but it's true. So, be prepared for this and decide, in advance, to not be a victim of pressure by "friends" to be and do less than you are capable of in order to be "cool".

Listen to your teachers when they are talking -- and actually take notes on what they are saying. In high school, teachers are often giving you the answers to test questions. They are almost always telling you what your assignment needs to contain. Why wouldn't you listen? Peer pressure to seem cool?

Stay slightly ahead of the lessons. If you haven't read the material or done the homework before a college lecture, you will be making your work twice to three times as hard. The emotional anxiety of being behind steals joy from your life. Being ahead makes you seem smarter.

Take notes on things you don't know -- not on everything the teacher says. Do take notes, however, even if it isn't cool. You can take a lot fewer notes if you have already read the material.

Work about 15 minutes extra per day per subject in middle and high school. Work 30 minutes extra per day per subject in college. You can move from drudgery to insight by doing this. 98% of your fellow student s won't do this -- so your grades will be higher than at least 90% of your fellow students.

Ask for help. Teachers and professors love to "coach" if the student has prepared and tried it on their own first. Ask your smart friends. Don't get your advice from someone who is clueless or doesn't have your best interests in mind.

Take courses that you will learn from -- not just ones that will increase your GPA. Eventually, you will be smarter as a result and the grades will come naturally. When you become a professional, the knowledge gained by doing this will make you much more effective and successful.

Try to really understand the material -- not just get a good grade. See how it can be applied. Test "what if". Play with various cases and limits to see what happens. Ask how it might apply to a situation or problem in the career you are interested in.

If you have an opportunity to do so during college, try to become an intern or coop in your career area of choice. You will learn if you even like this work before you dedicate X more years to your education in this area. You will have experience to add to your resume. You will make contacts who can help you with references or, even, offer you a good job once you graduate.

Try to go to an economical undergraduate college unless your parents just have so much money they don't know what to do with it. Exceptions would be going to Harvard, Stanford, Yale or MIT. Make a deal with your parents to pay for grad school instead of paying big bucks for undergrad.

If you aren't getting college money from your parents, use student loans but live frugally and go to an economical college. If you have to be self-sufficient, make sure you are getting a degree in something that will lead to good employment. You can find careers that are at the intersection of your talents, your interests, and what someone will pay you for -- if you think about it creatively and and are willing to consider them "starter" opportunities.