Why ‘C’ Students Are Likely to Be More Successful in Life

By Patrick Banks

Posted 5 years agoGROWTH

Worrying about your bad grades in college?

You’re not alone.

For years, society has placed a large stigma on bad grades – and an overwhelming importance on good grades. College students often feel pressured to get good grades because they believe these scores directly influence their future.

It’s high time for students of all types—trapped in the blind pursuit of A’s—to learn a little secret from previous generations:

In school good grades matter, but…

In the real world, it’s all about passion, experience, and balls.

Once you’ve had your first job experiences, no one will ask you about your GPA. Real life is about making your way through it, not how well you can write essays or regurgitate facts you heard in the classroom. What matters most is how you adapt to new circumstances and how quickly you learn the few skills you really need – not how well you can learn everything.

Failing at an early age can teach you more about life, more than always getting A’s. You can always gain more book knowledge after you get out of school; however, facing obstacles in your early stages of life can provide very valuable lessons.

Admitting your failures, accepting negative feedback, finding the power to motivate yourself under pressure – good-paying, innovative companies are willing to pay a lot for these skills.

Grades don’t indicate your true curiosity, passion, or creativity. Some people simply don’t like research and avoid tedious study; however, this doesn’t mean they’re any less intelligent than their peers.

Actually, bad grades often mean they’re smarter!


People with bad grades can be extremely successful.

There are countless examples of brilliant people who didn’t do well in school.

Thomas Edison was probably the most famous and productive inventor of all time. He had more than 1,000 patents in his name and became a self-made multimillionaire. However, he dropped out of school after only three months of formal education.

George Bernard Shaw, a co-founder of the London School of Economics, with a Nobel Prize for Literature and an Oscar on his shelf, gave up school at about 16!

Former president John F. Kennedy grew up in the shadow of his older brother, a football star and leading student. However, the younger brother turned out to be the more successful one. His rebellious character led him to start a group at the school called “The Muckers Club” that pulled crazy pranks all the time. This same energy served him well when he grew up to be the President of the United States.

Another famous American politician, Benjamin Franklin, was a diplomat, author, scientist, inventor, printer, publisher, founding father—and a coauthor of the Declaration of Independence. He was only missing one thing: a high school diploma.

In fact, many American leaders weren’t brilliant at school: Lyndon B. Johnson, George H.W. Bush, and Vice President Joe Biden – to name just a few.

In addition to political leaders, a number of incredibly successful entrepreneurs had a limited academic background – but this didn’t stop them from earning millions of dollars.

Bill Gates, an innovator in the field of personal computing and a great philanthropist, dropped out of college to develop his own company (Microsoft). His unfinished college degree didn’t stop him from becoming the richest man in the world.

Other entrepreneurs never finished college, such as Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg. Elizabeth Holmes, the youngest female billionaire,  dropped out of Stanford on her way to greatness.

Famous businessman and philanthropist, David H. Murdock, grew up in a poor family in Ohio. He dropped out of high school in 9th grade. After serving in the Army, he moved to Detroit and became homeless. However, he got a loan of $1,200 to buy a diner that was going out of business. After making a quick profit, he entered the real estate world. Recently, Murdock ranked as the 190th-richest person on the “Forbes 400”.


So, if you graduated from high school or college without flying colors (or not at all), don’t stress out.  Many outstanding people have proved that grades don’t dictate success. Success requires passion, continuous improvement, and motivation.

What differentiates “C” Students from others is that they understand the most important lessons in life aren’t learned in the classroom. This kind of knowledge has to be acquired the “hard way” – often through failure.

But you’ve already learned this lesson, haven’t you?


About the author Patrick Banks

Patrick is a Berlin-based dating advisor, motivational speaker, a huge fitness and vegan diet enthusiast and the main editor at Wingman Magazine, specialised in men's health. His ultimate goal is to share with men around the world his passion for self-development and to help them to become the greatest version of themselves. He believes a healthy body and successful social interactions are two main keys to happiness.

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