What defines a good student?
"A good student" has always been a term that is loosely defined. Some have the misconception that the phrase only means getting good grades. Although grades are a major factor, they are only the tip of the iceberg. A genuinely good student is exemplified through more than just one aspect of school.
Allow me to clarify what a truly advanced pupil really is. To be considered a good student, an individual must be evaluated in three distinct scopes: academic performance, extracurricular activity and social status.
Obviously, a key component to the title of "good student" is academic performance. The reason we go to school is to learn, and that should be the first responsibility. Every student has the ability to prioritize, yet a good one has the keen insight to put schoolwork before the rest.
Karissa Tomm, an honors student at Sutter Union High School, said, "What I've learned over the past few years is to get my assignments done first and avoid procrastination." The idea of putting work before leisure is a difficult concept for teens, yet the outcome can be extremely beneficial in the long run.
Another aspect of a good student is extracurricular activity. The board of admissions at any college in the nation will tell you that they do not look solely upon grades in the evaluation of a prospective student. Letters of acceptance are given to the students who are "well-rounded."
Well-rounded generally means an individual partakes in clubs, volunteers in community service or participates in sports — or any combination of the three. These activities exhibit the ability of a student to multitask and prioritize their schedule efficiently.
Collin Olmstead, an avid runner for SUHS's cross-country team, said, "School comes before cross country, but I like doing it to keep me from getting bored." On top of academics, the student who is aptly involved in outside activities is the one who is advanced — and, in the end, the one whom colleges search for.
Lastly, a good student also has to keep in mind his or her social status. School is a microcosm of society for teenagers. Maintaining a good reputation is not necessarily pertinent to success beyond high school, yet it ensures a much more enjoyable high school experience.
Activities to improve an individual's social status — such as dances, sport events and rallies — are highly encouraged at SUHS and in most high schools. Shaila Gidel, the 2010 homecoming queen, said, "It is important to be a part of your school, and a good reputation avoids drama."
A good student is someone who does so much more than just perform well in school. The purest definition is a student who succeeds in academics, involvement and prestige. Not only will individuals who strive to be "good students" find achievement in school, they will also find a life full of prosperity in the future.
McKenzie Kimball is a senior at Sutter Union High School. His column appears every six weeks in Education.