While you can, try to graduate with a First Class. Try very hard. Get the best grades you can get. Do not listen to also-rans. You’ll not regret it and it will pay off in ways you cannot imagine.
Again, try very hard. Do not listen to naysayers or people who conflate academic success with material success or undermine the former by reference to a possible lack of the latter. You may not understand this tweet but you don’t have to. Just try.
This is not a post about work experiences, practical skills, networking or work-ethics. All of these are important, if not more important. Do not remind me of their importance. I know. We can talk about them some other time.
Today, it’s about grades. To all my friends and junior colleagues in school currently, please, aim for the best grades. What is gained in the immersive process of pure academic rigor—while tangential to the prize—is priceless.
Anyone who tells you it’s not worth it is foolish. And I say this wholeheartedly. Because the wisdom of striving for excellence transcends the material results. What you gain in the process will put you far ahead of many contemporaries. Please try.
I know it’s not easy. In my time, I read till I had to undergo a surgery on my left eye. Tears would pour down on my books from studies. But what I gained from that process, was the irreducible hunger for excellence in every thing I do. Money does not buy that.
Once you test the limits of your resilience and intellectual muscle, you never go back to being mediocre. Chasing excellence becomes a habit. You’ll barely find an excellent person who doesn’t go far. Because they just don’t settle. Do not miss the chance to teach yourself this.
And if you’re fortunate to finish with good grades, they will open doors you did not know exist. Doors are not only about jobs and money. Doors are also about people. About places. About the very things that will dignify you and make you worth identifying with.