Strive for success

My classmates seem to loathe me because I’m the kind of student who always asks questions in class, and wants to fully understand a topic. They get irritated when I raise my hand, yet the teacher encourages me to do so. Because of this, I’ve been given nicknames and no one wants to hang around me. I want to have friends, but why do they want me to act like I understand something when I don’t? Maria



Good grades are the result of hard work and intelligence and there is nothing wrong with being a student with a high drive to learn. Similarly, your career goals don’t depend on your classmates’ perception about you, rather, on your determination to push forward against all odds in your academic life and emerge successful. If your friends criticise you for being active and asking questions in class, don’t let their negativity lower your enthusiasm to learn, rather, continue to apply deliberate effort that will help you perform even better. This is your career journey and your future, so own it and steer it in the most desirable direction. Remember that ‘envy’ is more about them than it is about you. Studies show that people who report higher levels of negativity are more likely to be insecure and lack self-worth. Therefore, create a visual reminder of your goals to keep you on track, even when others are against you.


All academic environments and social circles are dominated by people who try to bring others down. It can be emotionally draining just being in the same class with them but ultimately, you’re not responsible for their slow learning. They just wish they were like you, so let them envy you as you keep track of your career goals. They have no intention of actually doing anything about their problem. Most of the time, validation and sympathy are enough to soothe such chronic complainers without directly shutting them down.  Successful people share common traits, such as resilience and persistence, therefore, surround yourself with friends who share your drive for success and who are goal-oriented.


Similarly, put more effort in your schoolwork. Teachers love students who do well in tests, do their homework assignments and participate during lessons. Also, report those students who bully or nickname you to school authorities for disciplinary measures.  The authorities have the mandate to protect your wellbeing at school and are responsible for disciplinary measures against any kind of mistreatment exerted on you by fellow learners, including bullying or nicknaming.

Just be polite and friendly but strongly learn to set your boundaries when enough is enough. Ignoring some completely negative students doesn’t mean you hate them, or that you wish them harm; it just means every time you subtract negative from your life, you make room for more positive. Don’t get discouraged, you’re simply on the right truck.

Their thoughts...

Choi Hyewon, Business student

Dear Maria, you are doing the right thing, and I encourage you to continue asking questions in class when you don’t understand something. Good friendship is not forced, thus, focus on your studies and those who appreciate your attitude will be happy to hang out with you.

Fred karomba, Business student

Don’t be discouraged; keep your focus on your studies and remember you are helping many other classmates who are afraid to ask questions in class. There are many students who don’t understand a topic but don’t have the courage to speak up like you. Your boldness is a blessing, so keep moving forward.

Francis Kami, Engineering student

Dear student, you might think it is the worst thing to not have classmates to hang with, but in time, you will understand why it was worth it, and you will appreciate what you are doing today. In the end what matters is not the people you hang out with, but what you manage to achieve. You are doing the right thing.

John Dagi, Teacher

The truth is if you don’t ask questions in class, you won’t understand your lessons and eventually fail, and nobody wants to hang out with a failure. My advice is that you ignore what your peers say about you, and work even harder to get good grades. Good students will want to hang out with a passionate student like you.

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