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High School is a pivotal point in the the future success for students in terms of colleges and potential the outcome of the rest of their life. However, despite the crucial importance of high school and the grades achieved during this time there is a group of students that can be perceived as underachievers.

Of the two choices the most efficient academic lifestyle is obvious. But why isn’t every high school student striving to be an overachiever?

Junior Cody Campbell defends his lack of effort in his academics because of the amount of workload. “I would try to change if it weren’t so much work. But I mean, I really only come to school to socialize.”

While his argument against the amount of work given may be agreeable, it is not a valid excuse to UC, private, or ivy league colleges. Colleges not only look for the A-G requirements, but also whether or not if the student challenged him or herself.

“I don’t need to try at all because I’m not going to be a doctor [or something], I want to be a cop. So, I don’t need to get good grades or stress about studying and doing homework [outside of the classroom],” said Campbell.

Although a career in law enforcement is not as demanding on the need for taking advanced classes, it does require a high school diploma. As does the majority of jobs offered.

Despite what some might think in regards to not putting any effort into their schoolwork, the laziness of students will do nothing but cripple their own chances at obtaining a higher paying or more fulfilling job.

On the other side of the academic scale, are the more ambitious overachievers. Students who strive to go above and beyond academically, tend to choose the more intellectually challenging classes offered such as Advanced Placement (AP) or Advanced Standards (AS).

For instance, junior Elizabeth Murphy, who is taking three very demanding classes,  AP English, AP Psychology, and Spanish III honors.

Murphy said,“I choose to take these classes because I want to push myself. I am driven to succeed [in my education] by colleges and making my parents proud. I also do it for myself. It makes me happy to get good grades and have the opportunity to choose between different UC colleges [such as UCLA and UCSD].”

Murphy motivates herself to keep trying hard by thinking of the future. “I just think of how all my hardwork is going to pay off. Even though I might struggle a little now, its better to put in the effort now then once you get to college you can have fun and relax. Rather than doing it the other way and having in struggle in college because you didn’t work hard now.”

Students who juggle more than one AP and other aspects of their life must be able to prioritize and manage their time well. Without time management, the demands from both school and life outside of it seems impossible to manage.

“My advice [to freshmen and sophomores] would be to learn how to time manage and don’t procrastinate. Try to get your work done as soon as you can. It’s a lot less stressful on you,” said Murphy.

When a student does not possess the professional work ethic of an ambitious student, it may be  harder to succeed without struggling. Especially if there is no effort or time put in to it.

Another junior, Michael Campos, said, “On average I spend about 10-20 minutes on homework a night.”

A saying by history teacher, Cyriakos Nichols, is “time equals grade.” The basic philosophy behind the saying is the amount of time you put into the class is the grade you receive. Students who  are putting forth their best efforts, will most likely be receiving the grade that reflects their hard work. Same goes to those underachieving students who don’t try.

“Even though I don’t know exactly what college I want to go to, I want to be able to have the opportunity to keep my options unlimited, so I challenge myself with APs. I spend about three to four hours on homework a night,” said junior Jen Anthony, enrolled in three AP classes.

Anthony said her tips for success are, “Don’t just study the night before a test; instead study every night. Try to stay focused on your homework because it helps you obtain the information, and don’t be afraid to ask the teacher for help.”

There are many forms of help offered at Carlmont High School for struggling students that want to change to be more academically driven but need help getting there. For example, there is after school tutoring and homework help from teachers and counselors. But in order to get out of the easy habits of laziness, the student must be willing to put in the effort.

Success can be easily achieved by anyone who works for it.

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The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.
Above and beyond