So my overall weighted GPA is 3.17 and this is my Sophomore year, that was last semester, now the progress reports are coming home, I got:
Alg 2: C
AP Comp Sci: F (LOL WTF)
Football: A… Obviously…
Gah, its just a drag, I don’t even talk in class, I pay attention other stuff:( Feel so stupid…
I am actually smart, just lazy as **** if I actually pay attention and take notes in math, I would not be getting this grade, $@#$@#$@#$@# I have had the lazy problem since like 5th grade…
David, when I was in high school, I sometimes became bored with school, and REALLY enthusiastic about robotics. It happens. But, I urge you to keep your grades up, as your participation in the robotics team will get you very little without the good grades to show also. If you have to pick one over the other, make it school. Take some time off from robotics if you need, to really focus on your studies. What I did when my grades fell was went and asked the teacher “what will it take for me to get an A (or other grade)?” And I stayed after school and got extra help, and my grades improved.
School may not be the most interesting thing, but it’s important, and you will realize this later. Just do whatever you need to in order to get those grades up.
Guess what, David? **Life **can be a drag. You only get out of it what you put into it. There are millions of people who dread getting up every morning to go in for another boring day of work.
The only way to not become one of those millions of drudges is to get a good enough education that you can choose a career that interests you. These days that usually means a college education, but certainly means some kind of education beyond high school. And the only way you can get into the higher education you want is to do well in high school.
You said you passed the AP CS test easily - so why the poor grade in the class? Don’t fall into the trap of “I know this stuff, I’m bored with it, so I’m not going to do the work.” That won’t get you anywhere now or later.
I’m not going to be the first to claim to be a good student, especially in high school, when I get bored. However, towards the end of high school and for most of collage, I’ve managed to find some tricks to keep me interested in my classes. For my CS classes I will take the assignments much further than the teacher ever intended. For example for my operating systems class, when the C assignments got boring, I started seeing how far the language could stretch (see below).
Doing this has helped tremendously when it comes to doing my hw. Just remember, if you’re bored in your CS class, a good teacher won’t complain if you go to them and tell them you need something more interesting. I went into my senior year of high school with a 3.0 gpa, I managed to get interested in my classes and got out with a 3.5.
btw: please never write serious code like that, I was purposefully attempting to obfuscate the language (which is why I will be very impressed if you can tell me what it does without compiling it).
Speaking from someone that has done plenty of school and some work. (and has been living in the same boat as you) I think we both need discipline. If I were able to focus on what needed worked on, I would have gotten much more out of my co-op that just ended. I learned alot, but it was just a fraction of what I could have had. Please read this as not being too critical of you. I’m just saying that I understand where your coming from and an immediate job isn’t the answer. I got that, it didn’t help too much without the discipline to excel at it.
You’ve mentioned that 5th grade was when you noticed a change occurring. You’ve tagged it as laziness. It could just be change that manifests itself as self-described laziness because you haven’t come up with a plan to deal with the change.
One of the wonderful aspects of being on a FIRST team is time management. The FLL, FTC, and FRC teams all have to learn that aspect of build and of competition. When you are managing build regarding strategy, design, materials, and building the robot - you are also managing time - as a team and as individuals. We hear plenty of stories bragging about how late the team and individuals are staying up, days on end. We hear very little bragging about actually accomplishing excellent management of time and scheduling. This applies to the team goals and to the individual responsibilities and obligations. Everyone on the team has obligations that they must meet whether they are job duties or school responsibilities. The FIRST build and competition season is not a vacation - it is an additional responsibility. How the team and the individuals on the team address the additional responsibility and the time management involved, is a mark of maturity and respect for the obligations and duties that are a part of the daily grind. Time spent on Chief Delphi has to be factored into the discipline of managing your time. It is much easier and more fun (usually) to spend time on CD rather than doing your homework or paying attention to your studies. Those of us who work, have to manage that as well. For example, I get up earlier than I otherwise would so that I can check out posts and threads in CD. It is a lot of fun for me and I always learn a lot - but I try very hard not to shirk other duties because I enjoy browsing and posting in CD. There’s a certain amount of support you can get on CD but really, you have to be the one to go the distance.
Dave, I had a moment of clarity my sophomore year of high school, I saw a single C. It didn’t make me think that school was dumb it made me realize that I was a darn fool. School sucks, oh trust me, many of us think it. Teachers are forced to teach to the slowest students which leaves people who want to excel bored. My realization was that by slacking off I was the slowest. From that point on I was not a straight A student but I did the work. I paid attention. Yeah, school was still boring but at least I didn’t have to listen to teachers berate me about how I could be doing better.
Now that my advice is done I have to comment on the specifics. David, with these grades you would not be travelling with any of the teams I am involved in. You would not be building, the only reason you would be in the shop was so we could make sure you were being tutored in the material you were lacking. This would continue until your teachers informed us that your grades were acceptable to them or they were all above C’s. Why would we do this? Because if you screw around now and get crap grades you will screw around later and get crap grades in college and YOU don’t want that. Plus, grades like this make you look like a fool, a darn fool. Are you a fool?
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
– Benjamin Franklin
Checking fastener torques before a big match isn’t as exciting as a dramatic last minute fix, but winning is way more exciting than loosing due to XYZ falling off.
Sometimes you have to eat your vegetables, do your homework, and get some sleep. Otherwise you may get sick, have bad grades, and or fall asleep during the championship.
I have definitely experienced that moment in class where I do not have it within me to pay attention any longer; we must still try our best to excel in these despite how repetitive and tedious class material. What I have done in previous years, I pay attention in class all the time and take notes, and when given material that I fully understand, I listen to the dictation given and relax. Do your homework and study, and the grades should skyrocket easily. It is possible that one may imply that my statement suggests long work hours continuous studying, but that is not the case (I would metaphorically die if I did that). All I am suggesting is to put some effort into classes (it may be tough, but it will all help you out in the long run), do the work, and better grades will be extremely probable.
If you would like some help in math, I would be more than happy to assist.
Everyone has to go to school, so you might as well get the most out of it.
So everyone spends ± 6 hours a day in school. Why waste 6 hours a day and get nothing out of it? If you’re there, you might as well pay attention. It’s the same amount of time wasted, but you actually learned something. Being a good student isn’t that hard, it’s really only a difference of an hour or two a night between a good student and a bad student. A good student will get into a good college and likely get a good job, while a bad student won’t, even though the good student devoted 7 - 8 hours a day to school work, while the bad student only put in about 6. Small difference in input, big difference in outcome.
I wish I was still in school. You get to spend the whole day learning new things. I was like you, didn’t put in the work, thought I was lazy, skated by as a solid C student. Then I realized one day, I wanted to do things when I grew up. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I didn’t want to live my life like I had been. I came to an epiphany that if I wanted to do something in the future, I had to prepare for it today. Well it worked. My grades improved, my outlook changed, I was well on my way to doing whatever I wanted. You get what you pay for. If you want a shot at doing something that will make you happy for the rest of your life, now is the time to start doing something about it. One of the common quotes during my time in college was “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” Git er done!
BTW, check out my sig below.
For the most part, I really enjoyed my classes in high school, but there was one class I absolutely couldn’t stand, AP US History. I felt like we never learned anything in class, the textbook was terrible, and our assignments were long and tedious. I know plenty of people who loved it and breezed through, which made me even more resentful of the class. The way I kept myself on board in this class was to set small, achievable goals for myself (e.g. I’ll read the textbook for half an hour, then I can take a break), and to remind myself why it was important to pay attention and do well in the class. Maybe you can try to set up similar strategies for yourself - budget your time, set goals and rewards, and keep the big picture in mind. Remember that succeeding in high school is just one step on the way to doing what you love in the future. Also, if you get to pick any elective courses, try to pick things that interest you so you stay motivated to focus in those classes. Good luck!
That’s what it took for me in college. Once I did that I found it was not only ridiculously easy to focus and get a 3.85 GPA, I also had time for a pretty nice social life with enough energy left over for working and volunteering. It’s not a matter of what you spend your time doing; rather it’s more a matter of how much thought you put into something regardless of what you’re doing at the moment. Video games tend to take all focus and if something you learned isn’t committed to long-term memory already then it’s easily forgotten and easy to care less about the associated easy “fringe” work that’s required to get the good grade.