// you’re reading...

How to Win

What Does Being Valedictorian Mean?

Did you ever wonder what happens to people who graduate first in their high school or college class?
Some people have. And with good reason.
It’s more than reasonable to wonder how well success in school translates into success in the years after. And the short answer is: not very well.
“We’re all told mom wants us to be a valedictorian and to study so hard. And they (valedictorians) do well, very well. But oddly enough, they don’t reach the same heights of success after school.” So says Eric Barker, author of “Barking Up The Wrong Tree: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success Is Mostly Wrong.”
If valedictorians don’t tend to achieve outstanding success in life, the obvious question is why. One theory is that, among other things, valedictorians have learned the system as well as they’ve learned their reading, writing and arithmetic.
Barker says valedictorians “don’t go on to reinvent the system or lead it. Instead, they’re part of it.”
Another obvious question is: If valedictorians aren’t dramatic successes, then where do outstanding achievers come from? Perhaps, to follow Barker’s reasoning, they come from people who challenge the system or aren’t interested in conforming. They are people who think differently, a quality not always in demand in schools.
I’ve heard it said that A students work for B students in companies owned by C students in buildings owned by D students.
That might be a bit of an exaggeration, but there’s some truth to it as well.
So if you’re looking for a hidden gem, forget about valedictorians. They’re not hidden. And they might not even be gems.


No comments for “What Does Being Valedictorian Mean?”

Post a comment