I know it sounds counter productive but telling a college student to focus all their attention on good grades is perhaps the worst advice ever doled out. In my experience the students who are involved in a variety of activities and projects or work experiences outside of college tend to do really well academically. I think this is largely because they dont’ have time to waste so the time that they do have is well spent. While those who only worry about studying tend to be less intense on their books because they have all the time in the world.
Well meaning parents want their children to do well in school; after all isn’t the focus to get good grades so you can get a good job? No, this is not. The focus is for a student to develop holistically and good grades are an added bonus. I’ve heard many recruiters tell me they would chose a student who is well-rounded with a solid GPA vs a 4.0 student without any extra curricular activities. Good grades are only a part of the process. Employers are looking for students who’ve taken the time to differentiate themselves. Let’s be real: good grades are given and if that is all that you are bringing to the table compared to the millions of other students with good grades it doesn’t do much to separate you from the competition. Good grades are your primary focus but they are one part of the equation. In order to be deemed a candidate of choice you have to be able to demonstrate your ability to focus on good grades and other areas of college life.