20 People Share What Became Of The Brightest Student In Class

Published 9 months ago

With all the online platforms to keep in touch, it’s no wonder we find old schoolmates and long-forgotten work buddies, almost daily. Having a chat from wherever you are in the world and catching up has become easier than ever before with Zoom and similar video calling options. 

It’s also interesting to see what happened to everyone over time and share experiences over a little goz-sesh. This inspired one netizen to inquire online about what happened to the “smart kid” in people’s classes. Folks gathered to share a multitude of stories from tragic to brilliant and we’ve posted a few of the most interesting tales in the gallery below. 

More info: Reddit

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#1 He went to Harvard Law School then moved back and created a startup that helps make healthcare accessible in disadvantaged communities. Was a great guy then and great guy now.

Image source: Strict_Bar_4915, Andrea Piacquadio

#2 He went to MIT, works for Apple, and has a very expensive home in California. He also has a wife and 4 kids and seems to be very happy. I remember he was programming games in high school and was valedictorian. A big nerd who became a wealthy big nerd.

Image source: BullHorn100, zhang kaiyv

#3 He’s in jail for murder. Came as a surprise.

Image source: I_am_Korpse, Donald Tong

#4 Crushed under the weight of expectations and mental illness he burned out and works call centers now instead of his full potential.

Image source: scipio0421

#5 She married a religious fruitcake 12 years older than she was almost immediately after graduation and started pumping out kids. Never went to college. Has never had a job. Spends her days on Facebook shaming people for being sinners.

Image source: Patricio_Guapo, Camylla Battani

#6 Guy had 3 scholarship offers, lasted 1 year in uni before jumping off a building. Feel sorry for him and his family.

Image source: ObscureAbsurdity, Download a pic Donate a buck! ^

#7 That was me. I’m now a stay-at-home dad of four wonderful kids and in a loving, sixteen year marriage. My wife is my best friend. While I may not have reached my full potential academically, I’m happy. Very happy. I realized that life is too short to care about anything other than living my life the way that I want to, not the way that I’m expected to.

Image source: MielikkisChosen, Tatiana Syrikova

#8 There were two. They were twins. They’re both geneticists now with PHDs, and they work at the same university.

Image source: iARTthere4iam, Pavel Danilyuk

#9 Died from a brain tumour right after he graduated high school. He was dang smart. Could play the piano upside down too.

Image source: crimesteak, cottonbro studio

#10 He is currently an aerospace engineer who played a big role in the engineering of the Canadarm.

Image source: ketchupforall, wikipedia

#11 He got his PhD in engineering, started his own company, and was a multimillionaire by 45.

Image source: ratherBwarm, Ono Kosuki

#12 Smartest guy from my high school became an actual rocket scientist.

Image source: TheKaptinKirk, Pixabay


I amounted to nothing.

Is what most people would say looking at me. But the truth is I am living a satisfying and happy life, no debt because I chose not to go to college, a wonderful woman who is madly in love with me and I her, and I enjoy my free time doing what I love. I’m happy. I’m not rich. I don’t have a prestigious job or title, but I am legitimately satisfied with life.

I win.

Image source: Select-Prior-8041

#14 That was me! Or smartest as in best achieving academically. Went on to uni and studied history and a masters in medieval history, graduated both top of the class. Everyone expected me to do a PhD but I found academics too lonely and wanted to have a more social workplace so became a history teacher in high school instead and love it!

Image source: Jealous-Proof5505, fauxels

#15 I believe he works for NASA. He deleted his Facebook a while ago (like the smartest kid in our class would do), but that’s what he was doing last I checked.

Image source: gingeritis90, Pixabay

#16 Superstar pediatric neurosurgeon. Most confident person I’ve ever met. (Guess you’d have to be, to cut open a little kid’s skull and operate on their brain.)

Image source: Rainpickle, JAFAR AHMED


I ended up being a drug addict and a cook at a bar. Being smart doesn’t do anything if it just drives you to insecurity and depression, except make you loathe yourself for not living up to your potential.

Image source: LegendaryUser

#18 Dropped out of college to marry and support the much younger woman he got pregnant. Now (30 years later) owns a boardgame store with a large back room for mini painting and games and plays dad to half the neurodivergent kids in town. Still married to the same woman too. It’s not a high flying life but he makes a difference to so many people.

To make y’all feel better: He was 23 I think and she was 18, a big age gap when you’re young. It was also in the Netherlands, were at least at the time (I’ve been gone a while) we didn’t really care so much as long as it wasn’t a 10 year difference or one of them was under 15. Teenagers have sex drives, it happens.

Image source: Yinnesha, Gustavo Fring


Not my class but the one above me, and it was my brother. He was superlative winner: best smile, most likely to be famous, likely to succeed, best dressed, most likely to be famous, etc… the school made him pick two. He also won prom king and fulfilled all his projected roles.

As his little sister, my big brother is my absolute HERO of a human all around. He is a PA making bank, drives a cool car, humble af, has a beautiful gf I hope to call my SIL one day.

Me? I got “seinoritis” and the school had to call my Mom to let me know I needed to show up for superlative pics lol. I’m an artist. I work with rockstars on the spectrum. I have a hundred plants and solo travel to go hiking. Imo, WE made it. All the money in the world wouldn’t put me through his academic endurance. He is such a great role model, I’m so blessed to have him as my big brother and best friend. He calls me for his mental turmoils and I make time. I call him when I made a new art/plant sale. Our relationship is unmatched.

Image source: SachiKaM

#20 She got a PhD is Neuroscience from Stanford and I think she’s a professor or associate professor somewhere now.

She was possibly the sweetest girl I’d ever met. I was an intelligent underachiever, and ended up in a few AP courses with her because our teachers saw my test scores and refused to continue to let me do dips**t things with my dips**t friends; she was always super proud of me when I actually showed up and put some effort in and, Lo and behold, got excellent marks. Honestly she really turned around the last 2 years of HS for me. Also she’s wicked hot now. A hot genius.

Image source: MrFifty-Fifty, Andrea Piacquadio

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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brightest student, hindsight, retrospect, school, smart kid
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