Be humble to avoid being a ‘know-it-all’
May 24, 2019
If you’ve ever been alive on planet Earth, chances are you’ve encountered those people who think they know everything. They raise their hands in class every second available to make themselves sound like intellectuals, like they only want the best for themselves and like they don’t care about the emotions of others around them. And guess what? There are so many of them on campus regardless of the major you’re in!
The “know-it-all” behavior is overall detrimental as it discourages others from doing their best and creates a rift between wholesomeness and being a complete jerk. To ensure you don’t become one of those people, there are a few things that you should avoid saying and doing to be humble and live out your fullest college experience.
Don’t say a class is too easy
We get it! You’re smart … just like everybody else who got into the University. Some people will go to lengths up telling you they got over 100% in the class, even though you never asked. Not every class is going to be easy for everyone, and you’re giving people an excuse to slack off and not do anything.
While you’re here, treat every class like it’s going to be hard and you’ll be fine. If people ask you if a class is hard, tell them if they’re able to do the work, they’ll be fine, too.
Don’t ask people what they got on a test
This question should be translated to “I want to know if I did better than you to help my ego.” Unless it’s a really good friend or someone who you can trust without them judging you, it’s not their business to know what you got on the test. If anyone asks you, respond with “I did well” or “I didn’t do as well as I wanted.” Your grades should be a personal matter between you, your friends (to an extent) and your parents.
Exercise boundaries in lecture and discussion
It’s totally acceptable to share your insights in class, and I admire those who are capable of doing that in a class with hundreds of people; however, there’s a fine line between trying to expand your learning and coming off as a complete smart aleck. Some people love to hear their voices and seem to blurt out whatever sounds “smart,” even though they have no idea what’s happening in the class. I’ve been in classes where people will go out of their way to correct professors even though it turns out that person was wrong in the first place. Don’t talk unless you have something useful to say.
Don’t look down on others for their choice in major
The beauty of people in this world is we’re all individuals. This reflects in the career paths we choose, and it’s disingenuous to write off people’s goals in life as “subpar.” This is something I see a lot as a STEM major. People in my major think if you’re not majoring in STEM, then what else is there in life? Believe it or not, there’s a lot! There’s a place for everyone in this world, and just because someone has a different perspective on life doesn’t mean they’re lesser. Whatever your major is, you do you!
Don’t complain about getting a 90% on a test.
This is something you probably heard in high school, and it never leaves. People don’t seem to realize this, but unless you’re a super genius, you’re not going to always get perfect scores. People also don’t realize it may not be their personal best on a test, but there are some around them who are getting worse grades. This is especially true in college because it’s a stressful place for everyone. Complaining about a near-perfect or amazing score is fruitless, and some people want to brag and make others feel poorly about their work. Keep it to yourself.
College is about personal growth, which includes the time you spend with others. Remember college isn’t always going to be a nice place. Sometimes, the cards will be stacked against you, and you need all the emotional support you can get. So don’t treat people like they’re inferior to you. If you’re ever faced a situation with a “know-it-all,” remember not to lose sight of who you are.
Jill is a sophomore in LAS.