Get good grades so you can get into a good college so you can get a good job so you can make enough money to have kids and send your kids to a good college so they can get a good job so…
Here's a box. Fit inside it.
Feel the pressure. Feel like this score is going to determine the rest of your life. Become a memorization machine, and forget it all after the test is over. All you have to do is get 100% of the answers correct, but don't forget that we told you that it's okay to make mistakes! Remember, the best thing you can be is an A. The worst thing you can be is an F.
Be studious. Do your homework, but not just to get it done. Understand it and get the right answers, but don't spend hours on it. Oh, and have a social life. Extracurriculars look really good on college applications, but homework is your number one priority. Just learn how to multitask. Manage your time. Do better. Do it all, and do it all well, but you must get enough sleep tonight so that you can do it all over again tomorrow.
Be focused. Listen to a monotonous lecture every day. Don't get bored, or draw in the margins of your papers, or find shapes in the clouds outside the window. But you are required to be creative, because they say so. Listen while they talk at you. Don't just listen, be inquisitive. Be enthusiastic. Act like this subject is the most interesting thing you've ever heard. Act. Act like there's not something else you'd rather be learning. Like there's not someplace you'd rather be. Someone you'd rather be.
Be your own person. But you have to do what they say when they say it. Don't go to the bathroom without asking permission first. Learn this material. Take this test. Answer these answers because this is right and this is wrong. Oh, but don't forget to be an individual. Always stand up for what you believe in, but not if it might go against their beliefs. That's called respect. If you disagree, you're disrespectful, and that's something you never want to be.
You don’t have to subscribe to standards created by society. Your worth is not confined to a letter grade. Your intellect is not a number. Your life path is not determined by a test. Your mental capacity is not divided into grade levels or years on a timeline.