“To students who want to do it all and refuse to accept that they should settle for anything less. This book is for you. It will show you how you can,” reads the dedication page of Emily Erickson’s most recent book, “The Art of the A: A Guide to Earning Straight A’s In Middle and High School Without Sacrificing Your Social Life, Sleep Schedule or Sanity.”
Erickson published the book with help from the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute at the University of Utah and as a freshman living at Lassonde Studios. She knows about taking advantage of all school has to offer: She graduated from Alta High School in 2021 with a 4.0 GPA and class rank 1 of 563. She successfully completed 14 AP classes while being actively engaged in seven clubs, training 2-3 hours a day at a local aerial arts studio, and taking the time to write a book on education reform, start an online business, and complete an internship with Bank of America. And most impressive of all, she managed to do all this without sacrificing her sleep schedule or social life.
According to Erickson, misconceptions abound regarding who can earn straight A’s and what it takes to get them. “People think you have to be extremely smart or gifted to earn straight A’s, and that to succeed, students have to spend all of their time studying, even at the expense of their sleep schedule, social life, and sanity,” she said. “Neither of these conceptions are reflective of reality. With the right approach, almost all students are capable of earning A’s in school while still having the time and energy to engage in the activities they enjoy outside of school.”
According to Erickson, A’s can be life changing. In addition to helping students get admitted to college and win scholarships, earning straight A’s makes school more enjoyable. “When you feel smart and on top of your classes, you can approach school offensively like a game and take ownership of your education,” Erickson said. Succeeding in school has been an immense source of pride and fulfillment in Erickson’s life and through her book, she hopes to help middle and high school students across the nation have similarly wonderful experiences.
“The Art of the A” is a comprehensive guide to excelling academically, covering everything from how to complete homework quickly and earn full points on assignments, essays, and exams to reframing stress and avoiding burnout. It contains unique and unconventional strategies you won’t find anywhere else — such as how to leverage procrastination as a tool and eliminate busywork you didn’t realize was consuming hours of your day.
“It’s written in an easy-to-read, conversational tone,” Erickson said. “So many study skills books are written by adults in academic labs who went through middle and high school years ago and might not have excelled academically themselves. I wanted my book to be relevant and relatable to today’s students. It’s filled with entertaining stories from my own time in school and contains real and honest advice on topics essential to academic success which frequently get overlooked.”
Erickson received a microgrant in Lassonde’s January 2022 Get Seeded grant program, which helped her cover the costs of publishing her book. “I love that Lassonde provides monthly opportunities for students to pitch a business idea and get funding for it,” she said. “It fosters a spirit of innovation on campus, encouraging students to dream big and do bigger and helping them take their first steps as an entrepreneur.”
“The Art of the A” is available for purchase on Amazon here.