Morpheus's Shortform

post by Morpheus · 2020-08-07T22:35:57.530Z · LW · GW · 3 comments


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comment by Morpheus · 2020-08-07T22:35:58.694Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Summary: I have updated on being more conscientious than I thought.

Since most of the advice on 80.000 hours is aimed at high performing college students, I find it difficult how much this advice should apply to myself, who just graduated from high school. Previously I had thought of myself as talented in math (I was the best in my class with 40 students, since first grade), but mid- to below average in conscientiousness. I also feel slightly ashamed of my (hand-)writing: most of my teachers commented that my texts were too short and my writing is not exactly pretty. I was diagnosed with ADHD with eleven and even with medication, my working memory is pretty bad. Even though I have started to develop strategies to cope with my disabilities, I wasn't sure how I was doing compared to those classmates that performed better in writing. So I just assumed that they must be way more productive. Recently I thought it would be interesting to try to predict my final grades by predicting the grades for every subject using Guesstimate (Unfortunately I later put in the grades I got in the end without saving my initial model. If someone is interested I can try to recreate it). This proved to be more useful then I thought: It was a major update for me being more productive and conscientious compared to the rest of my class.

  • Together with another student, I got the highest grades in German (my native tongue) in my final exam (13 out of 15 points), because I practiced writing (Exams).
  • I think I would not have realized that I had false assumptions about my performance if I had not seen the difference (There were 3-4 additional students in my class who I thought would be better than me in the final exam) between my prediction and the outcome.
  • It is not like I was bad before in German, but I attributed a lot of the credit to my teacher liking me. Since a second teacher graded my final exam, this effect shouldn't be as great.
Replies from: Viliam
comment by Viliam · 2020-08-15T17:04:57.591Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
even with medication, my working memory is pretty bad

To say the obvious [LW · GW]: make notes about what you learn. (I am not recommending any specific note-taking method here, only the general advice that a mediocre system you actually start using today is better than a hypothetically perfect system you only dream about.) It really sucks to spend a lot of time and work learning something, then not using it for a few years, then finding out you actually forgot everything.

This usually doesn't happen at high school, because the elementary and high school education is designed as a spiral (you learn something, then four years later you learn the more advanced version of the thing). But at university: you may learn a thing once, and maybe never again.

I was the best in my class with 40 students

How much this means, you will only find out later, because it depends a lot on your specific school and classmates. I mean, it definitely means that you are good... but is it 1:100 good or 1:1000000 good? At high school both are impressive, but in later life you are going to compete against people who often also were the best in their classes.

comment by Morpheus · 2021-05-13T23:27:24.985Z · LW(p) · GW(p)