I have been a bad student my whole life - a rebel attitude to break away from the norm, to try my own thing and see how it plays out. I’ve had the privilege of receiving good advice and feedback regularly, yet the bad student inside me has chosen to ignore and even judge them as inapplicable or ineffective in my case. This tendency was stirred not only by my rebellious nature but also by my perceived emotional intelligence (“this won’t work on me, I know better”).
To my delight, I’ve managed to get away with being a bad student time and time again. And even graduated ‘cum laude’ in many aspects of my life that I mistreated. Turning bad situations into good situations felt kind of fun.
I suppose, deep inside, I chose to act this way because I’ve always given myself a hard time. I’ve conditioned myself to sink deep into the unpleasant, experience it fully, beat myself up and come back stronger. Due to this or maybe because of this, I’ve developed a deep sense of appreciation for the underdogs. For those who raise from the ashes and conquer their world.
But my game couldn’t carry on forever. And it wouldn’t have been fair to the good students of life. As failure started to creep in and settle in various aspects of my life, I realised I need to become a good student. I can’t afford to play bad student anymore. I need to humbly take in advice, accept and apply it. My initial reaction is still to remain cold-hearted in the face of advice. To cheat and see if I could segway my way to success. However, I need to use my rebellious nature to take good advice as an experiment. Instil in me the drive to trial it, to see what happens.
I’m pursuing real growth now. And I’ve already realised the results of doing the good that’s preached onto me. Not just as an experiment, but also as a last resort. When everything else has failed and there is nothing else to do, why not try what has become common knowledge?
I know I am on a long journey. I can’t bypass and take shortcuts anymore like I used to. I need to embrace the full learning experience and be grateful for it. I already feel that it’s making me stronger and wiser. It might be more effort than reward, but at least I know I have tried. My best.