Quora Series: GPA and time

Q: What are the advantages of having a low GPA?

Most people think there are none.

The biggest advantage of having a low GPA comes from the fact the people around you don’t think that it’s a good strategy to have.

Here’s the thing about GPA’s:

When you look at them through measures of spread, the standard deviation to mean success at different levels (even under regressive data structures)- GPA variance to high success is not all that high. The average millionaire’s GPA in college was a 2.9, but Chemical Engineers also make great money- and many of them have GPAs higher than a 2.9.

Unfortunately, success is heavily dependent upon your cognitive abilities and the personality that goes with it- specifically conscientiousness- meaning that in many cases- your chances of reaching high financial success both have to do with your environment and what you decide to do with it. Yes, there absolutely is luck involved with becoming successful.

The thing about schooling is that it is not all that intellectually honest. Most people will lose their natural love of learning (especially people with lower GPAs, actually!) because the system is incentivized by order and mitigating laws of intellectual entropy (it’s a law of nature- and our curiosity is no different!). Essentially, this means that, whether you have a 4.0 or a 1.9, there’s a good chance that you aren’t using your natural cognitive skills to the best of their ability when you are younger and can induce far more informational utility.

This is where GPA comes into the picture

A low GPA will give you access to two very specific opportunities:

  • The opportunity to rebuild your personality for financial success through conscientiousness.

See, most people don’t know the 2 closest predictors of financial success. They happen to think that the grades you get to decide your future- which, as discussed before, is not necessarily the case. Imagine growing up thinking you appear as less apt than others- when instead you are more predisposed than most of the higher-performers in your school. This does not necessarily need to come with the luck of the head, but from discipline, using neuroplasticity to your immediate advantage, and thus, being more marketable than most upon graduation.

Say, instead of focusing on what disinterests you, you spent time learning about whatever you really want to learn about. Your natural ability to tier towards subjects and learn about them will come to your advantage- because nature will allow you to learn (build heavyweight knowledge networks) more than other students who are spending more time just getting tasks done and not enjoying them in the slightest.

You also have the opportunity to learn how to impress others and be unpredictable. You’ll have to sell yourself more in the beginning. You’ll have to use raw tactics to get what you want.

By the time you’re out of school, you’ll know tricks of the trade equivalent to people who have spent 5–6 years trying to grow in the workforce. You’ll be more apt to grow your career.

Imagine if everyone did this. The competition would be absolutely cutthroat and everyone would be on the teetering edge. The fact that most people don’t know this is a massive advantage if you use it right. Gaps stemming from growth development can be used exponentially to get your way.

This isn’t to state you can’t do this with a high GPA- this is just a natural time and environment advantage to a lower one. Surprisingly, more people with higher GPAs could very well take this knowledge and use it- because many people with low GPA’s just do it for clout because ‘hustlers’ did it. They don’t actually want to use the tools mentioned- because it’s not about GPA, it’s about you.

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Shaurya Pandya

Essayist, Author of Mindshifts, contributor at Dialogue and Discourse, Extra, plus a couple of others. Tweet me @ShauryaPandya