Do your Grades reflect the average of your five closest friends

Do your Grades reflect the average of your five closest friends?

Ask your five closest friends what grades they have (or GPA) - as if that's not an awkward conversation - and divide that by five. Is it pretty close to your own?

The "Law of Averages" states that we are very similar to the five people we spend most of our time with. If you’re not happy with the results of your five closest friend’s grades, and you’re not thrilled with our own grades, to put it bluntly, you may want to look for some better friends.

Personally, I had some less-than-stellar friends my Freshman, Sophomore, and the first half of my Junior years of high school. There is precious little time for homework and class projects when you’re out pretending to be the next Baja 5,000 Trophy Truck winner. My friend's grades were suffering, my grades were suffering and I was barely on track to graduate. Then, I joined a couple of clubs, and that introduced me to new types of friends. I'm still friends with many of these individuals today. They invited me to things like SAT test prep courses, compared SAT scores when we took the first test, and encouraged me to practice and retake the test. My grades rose and while there was still a lot of damage to my overall GPA, I made some honor-roll's and such during the remaining semesters. These things saved me money in college and really worked to get me off to a good start as I moved to being an adult.

As adults the "Law of Averages" still plays a role, only now its finances. Take the bank account balance of your five closest friends and average that and it will be very close to the balance in your own account.

Moral of the Story? If you want a healthy bank account balance, have five close friends with large bank account balances. Want better grades...

Good hunting!

For more information on this concept read this article about Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.


  1. As you move into adulthood do you see yourself trying to find friends that improve your financial situation?

  2. Are you the friend at one of the two extremes (top or bottom of the grade scale) How does it feel to be pulled in the opposite direction? If you’re not at one end or the other (in the middle) what can you do to help those at the bottom and how can you be more sensitive to the ones at the top?

  3. Do It! Ask five very close friends (people you spend most of your day/free time with) what their GPA is. Average it. How does it compare to your own? (Rhetorical question: do you need new friends?) How could you help to improve your friend’s grades (and your own as a by-product)?


Lecture Guide

PowerPoint: Scarcity and Choices

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