Why Hard Work Matters More Than Intelligence

High school, like it did for many current college students, came easily to me.

 

I fell asleep during class. I finished my homework either during another class or while I was working the drive-thru window in my hometown. After four years of never being challenged I came to college as egotistical as Tony Stark.   

 

I spent my first semester of college pledging a sorority and watching the guys in my dorm play League of Legends. When I got a C in Calculus One I said it was a fluke.

 

Second semester I skipped Physics for three months straight. I skimmed the textbook to manage a B. I had to drop Calculus Two, but I shrugged it off. I spent almost all my time at fraternity houses. I wrote stories during class. At the end of the semester my notebook would be empty of notes, instead holding eight-page short stories.

 

Because I never had to try in high school, I had not expected that I would have to study in college. It took getting a 2.4 GPA the first semester of my sophomore year before I admitted that I needed to change my approach to college.

 

Even after actively trying to study I could not do it. I spent too much time on units that were worth small amounts of points on the exam. I had trouble sitting through a lecture without getting distracted. Worst of all, I procrastinated until the day of an exam.

 

Finally, halfway through college I learned how to learn. I got in the habit of taking pages of notes for every lecture and turning in assignments long before they were due. I had my first collegiate 4.0.

 

Now as a senior I realized that being smart came as a disadvantage in the long run. Besides, no matter how smart you are, if you are too lazy to do your work you are going to fall behind.

 

This holds time in the work force. Look at Jim from the show, The Office. Pam says that Jim is really brilliant when he works, but he is rarely motivated to work at a paper company he believes is below him. He wastes several years before he understands that he has to put in effort to come out ahead.

 

This is true outside of the show, both in and out of college.