Not really directed at you. Just all of the people who go on about this kind of stuff. But yes, a lot of any academic program involves sucking up. It just does. After my Bachelor's, I did a one year ABA-approved Paralegal Certificate program. I did not connect with any of the instructors because I just didn't even try this time. On the contrary, during my Bachelor's, I was a bit of a teacher's pet and at least sometimes received high grades I didn't deserve on work alone. I remember distinctly in my Estates, Wills, and Trusts class at my paralegal program I aced the midterm and know I got at most one wrong on the final. This program had plus and minus grades and I was shocked that I received an A-. It wasn't a horrible grade, but the whole course the instructor did not delineate how the course grade was earned. e.g. he didn't state for example, 30% for the final, etc. It was based on him and it was crap. In any case, I recommend from here on out you ask for help you don't need and remember, there are far many more unintelligent people than intelligent people. I stuggle on a faily basis, unless I am in the company of other intelligent people to relate. But you have to realize that people who are average or even dumb are intimidated by intelligence but still have the ability to undercut you because your level of intelligence makes them feel stupid. It's a game and you have to play the game. I agree that hardwork and intelligence in an academic program should be what earns you top grades, but it's often not the only factors. Professors in general like to hear themselves talk and I also suggest you pay attention to their little side tangents or lecture topics that seem to excite them in particular. Because in the end they will say "Yay, he/she paid attention to my awesome theory of _____ in the law." I hope this helps and I also would not give up because your ranking isn't the best. Do what you have to, join organizations inside or outside of the school and show your abilities. Often, intelligent people have a way of not knowing that their thoughts are so beyond the average population that they are confusing their audience when they speak. Play the game.