There are advantages and disadvantages to everything under the sun, so this goes for being good at academics too. As a student, it is necessary for you to know the drawbacks of being good at academics such as the possibility of attracting haters, distractions from another gender, dysfunctional relationships and the tendency to value theories over practical real-life facts.
Do not get me wrong. There are very good reasons why anyone would be willing to give anything to be good at academics.
For example, there are the praises to receive from teachers and school authorities, admiration from our school friends and the occasional perks we get from members of the society just because we display the rare talent of academic progidies.
But there are equally some negative sides to being academically smart.
Are you a top performer in your class? Maybe you are one of those students who can solve any problem or answer any question with cheeky ease while the rest of the class struggles to keep up with your exceptional performance.
Well, you have every right to feel good about yourself. But remember that there are some serious downsides to being good at academics that you need to know.
This knowledge will help you to know the pitfalls and devise your own strategies to navigate yourself through school and life in general.
Are you willing to find out more about the reasons why being at the top of your class or making extraordinary grades in an academic subject is not without setbacks?
Then keep reading.
1. Attract envy and haters
Let’s face it, not everyone is going to be happy for you for being the best student in your class.
You must be ready to deal with envious classmates who will hate you just for always scoring the highest marks in class or in a particular subject.
Did you know that even some teachers can hate you just because you are too good academically for their comfort?
The funny thing is that while some of these haters will not try to hide their ill feelings towards you, there are others who will pretend to like you so much but feel extremely irritated by your academic success.
So what can you do about these haters? Well, there is very little you can do to help the haters but there is so much you can do to protect yourself.
The starting point is making an effort to identify the haters.
From there you can find ways to make sure they do not make life difficult for you both in class and throughout your time in school.
2. Counterproductive relationships
Another disturbing fact about being good at academics is that you will easily attract the admiration of all manner of individuals from another gender.
Yes, the truth is someone may love to be in a relationship with you for the fact that you are good academically.
The motivations for this are numerous and varied. Here are a few reasons why people will be attracted to you when they find that you are talented in solving mathematical problems or writing the best essays in your class.
- To get help with a subject they are struggling with.
- So that they can enjoy the good feeling of being in the company of that academic genius everyone admires.
- To get closer, know your secrets or become a bad influence just to ruin your academic life out of envy.
The danger of such relationships doing more harm than good to you as a student is real. So be careful about those you choose to call your friends or lovers.
3. Analysis paralysis from too much thinking
Academically brilliant individuals have always been great thinkers. But that is exactly where the danger lies.
Quite often, persons who are good at academics tend to overthink.
So instead of taking a quick decision and then implementing it, they are bogged down by too much analysing of the issue.
Obviously, the tendency to overanalyse every problem causes procrastination and indecision.
To avoid this pitfall of being good academically, you need to learn how to be more decisive in everything you do.
Because, trust me, the spirit of overthinking and lack of decision is a major cause of underachievement in life.
4. Relatively low-income careers
The unfortunate reality is that a lot of academically good individuals follow the path that leads to some of the lowest-paying careers.
There are many instances where people who were brilliant students back in school ended up in low-paying jobs while their less talented schoolmates became financially successful.
Do not get me wrong. I am by no means suggesting that you being good at academics will prevent you from landing a rewarding career after school.
Just that it is counterintuitive to realize that your academic prowess may fail to reflect in your finances in real life.
One reason for that unfortunate outcome is that many academically good persons tend to have little passion for entrepreneurship and business pursuits.
The few that are able to branch into business and entrepreneurship do very well. So it is a good idea to start learning more about entrepreneurship even while you are still a student.
5. The danger of becoming arrogant
It is so easy to allow the praises, the admiration and the chain of awards that you receive for being a brilliant student to get to your head.
And you know that saying? Pride goeth before fall.
Learn to remain humble even as you enjoy the fame and honour for being good at academics.
6. Spending too much time with books
One key factor that has contributed to your exceptional grades is that you always have enough time for your books.
While others are partying and having all sorts of fun, you are busy in the library or on the internet doing your research and learning everything you possibly can.
And for people like you, time with the books is much more fun than the biggest outdoor party.
But yet again, therein lies the problem. As you become more and more detached from your social connections, your relationships will begin to suffer.
Soon, you may begin to feel lonely and rejected. This is particularly so for introverts who are known to be the ‘weirdest’ nerds in high school and college.
Unless you are a happy hermit, you might want to work on your social relationships while making sure that you maintain the best possible academic performance.
One way is to find time to connect with friends. Another is to have a routine that includes time for leisure.
7. Thinking academic qualification is an end in itself
The tendency to make your academic pursuits an end in themselves is one of the biggest disadvantages of being good at academics.
The traditional school system is unwittingly good at producing graduates who can do very little for themselves when it comes to career development.
Most students are trained to believe that it is enough to obtain a certificate and that an academic qualification is all you need to earn a decent income.
This mentality is among the drawbacks of being academically talented.
The unemployment problem is difficult to deal with because too many brilliant graduates lack the mindset and ability to deploy their knowledge and skills to create jobs for themselves and for others.
Again, creative problem-solving at the workplace is often a challenge for persons who are exceptional performers in academics.
One solution to this problem is to realize the need to always apply the theories you learned in school to every practical life situation. Because ultimately, that is the essence of education.
Despite the above disadvantages, being good at academics remains the best thing to happen to any student. All you need to do is be conscious of these pitfalls and take the necessary steps to avoid them as much as you can.
Are you a top performer in your class? Maybe you know somebody who is amazingly smart academically. What challenges have you personally discovered about being good at academics? Please, share your thoughts in a comment below.