A Tale of Two Students … And College

Often people think that success in college and life depends upon how well students do in grade school and high school. If they aren’t making A’s in grade school, then they might as well forget going to college or getting a high-paying job. Right or wrong?

Two of my grandchildren are almost the same age. They went through grade school and high school together. The girl was at the top of all her classes. The boy was at the bottom and we wondered if he would even be able to graduate. (One grade school teacher kept putting him on a chair outside in the hallway.) He got through high school by going to a “Choice School,” which was offered at his high school. There should be more of these.

Students Learn Differently

The girl started college with an athletic scholarship. The boy started college, but didn’t make it past the first day, as he could not concentrate in the classroom. Being in a large group of people made him physically sick.


He got some part-time jobs and ended up being a video editor for an online company. When he worked by himself, he could concentrate and learn. He signed up for a well-known online university (Full Sail University) to get his BS. This college runs year around, no breaks, offers only one course at a time, and is very strict. Because he was working as a video editor, he knew how to read instructions and follow them exactly, which is one of the things he had to do in that college. It made him careful to follow the teacher’s requirements. He also figured out how to get an academic scholarship from them.

This June the young woman graduated Magna Cum Laude, with a BA in Business Administration. She was already working while in college and went immediately into a good-paying full-time job (and got married).

This November the young man graduated, with honors, top of his class, and has his BS in Digital Videography. As a video editor he worked his way through college and now has a good-paying full-time job with benefits, and a raise because he has his degree. It is a YouTube company that makes videos for children, with many of his edited videos going viral. He studies books on finances and is saving up money to buy a condo.

My Point Is

Not every child does well in a classroom situation. Not every child can bring home that A. But success in grade school or high school is not an indicator for success in life. Don’t discourage a child from going to college who barely made it through high school. These kids often find that college is easier for them than high school, especially if they get into the right college. With all the online courses offered, people don’t have to go to a brick and mortar university, and some of the main universities (such as U of Arizona) offer online education as well. Don’t get upset with a child who is truly struggling in school, but look for an alternative educational path that matches your child’s interest and style of learning. Help him find his niche.

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One of my books, Christmas on Cougar Mountain, is about a father with a child who is struggling in school, and the young woman who shows him that the child is not dumb or a problem child, he only has a different way of learning. I keep this book permanently free as I feel the message is so important for young parents (and many teachers) to hear. Enjoy this book and encourage others to read it also. The answer does not lie in drugging these children, but in helping them learn using their learning style. That might involve searching for alternative schools.

Christmas on Cougar Mountain

Available in the Amazon Kindle Store

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About Nancy Radke

A USA Today bestselling author, Nancy Radke grew up on a wheat and cattle ranch in SE Washinton State. She attended a one-room country school through the eighth grade. She learned to ride bareback at age 3 (Really! It was a common practice.) and when she got off or fell off, she would pull her horse's nose to the ground, get on behind its ears, and the horse would lift its head so she could scoot down onto its back. Nancy spent most of her childhood exploring the Blue Mountain trails that bordered the ranchlands. She and a friend once took a trail that turned out to be a two day trip. They always rode with matches and pocket knives, so made camp and returned the next day. These long rides worried her parents, but provided plenty of time to make up stories. Her first novel was set in the Blues, and is entitled APPALOOSA BLUES. TURNAGAIN LOVE was the first one published. It rated a four star review from Affaire de Coeur. Scribes World said "Turnagain Love has some fascinating twists and turns, unexpected complications, and charming scenes." It is light and humorous. Nancy currently has over 30 books written, both modern and western. All her stories are sweet and wholesome.  View website

2 Replies to “A Tale of Two Students … And College”

    • Yes, we are so proud and happy with this young man. I think the teacher who put him out in the hallway was trying to help him by getting him out of a group situation. Once he got into the choice school in high school where there were only a few students, he was able to function and learn. He attended college in his room, where he could focus. He also did all his video editing there. Was named Valedictorian of his college class. He has put a downpayment on an apartment, and will move next week. He has gained in confidence and is getting better and better at handling crowds.

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