The Counsellor's thoughts...

Dear Priscilla

Good grades are the result of hard work and intelligence. There is nothing wrong with being a smart student regardless of whether your father is a principal or not. Having your dad as your principal means you pay more attention and always work harder in class to be the perfect student! You’re on his radar both at home and school and this doesn’t mean he favours you or intimidates teachers to give you free marks. Weak students will always find excuses to justify their failure, so never let their negativity degrade your achievement. Negativity breeds dissatisfaction and such attitudes can be toxic and contagious.  You’re not responsible for their poor performance. They just wish they were like you so let them envy you as you constantly work to keep track of your career goals. Most of the time, validation and sympathy are enough to soothe any such chronic complainers without directly shutting them down. However, don’t boast but rather, surround yourself with friends who share your drive for success and who are
goal-oriented to support each other. While not everyone has the same goals, successful people share common traits, such as resilience and persistence. So form different school clubs to help you find other students who share your interests. Congratulate your classmates whenever they receive high grades so they’ll be less likely to feel jealous of you.

Be polite and friendly but learn to set boundaries when enough is enough. Ignoring completely negative students doesn’t mean you hate them, or that you wish them harm; it just means every time you deduct negativity from your life, you make room for more positivity. Your teachers too are professional and can fix this problem between you and these students, so approach them. Long lasting friendships tend to be ones that have support for each other, socially and academically.

Essentially, the quality of interactions you make depends on how good a friend you are. Good friends are a precious lot and if you’re one, then you’ll blend easily. Not everyone is against you, unless you’ve set barriers that avert them from socialising freely with you. Therefore, don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation. Smiling will make you more approachable and will make more students feel comfortable in your presence. The number of friends you make depends on how far you are willing to stretch. The diversity will give you the needed exposure for when you finish college.