There are two problems with perfect GPAs, perfect test scores, MVPs, student body presidents, and most other accolades that can be listed on a college application: none are universally attainable (genes dictated I could have been a competitive miler in high school) and almost none of them translate easily into the adult real world.
Yes, the lessons and work ethic developed in pursuit of them is invaluable. But you don’t have to reach the pinnacle to develop those lessons. And that leads to the broader point.
Generosity, insight, loyalty, honesty, fun, tenacity, creativity and dozens of other traits—each is an attitude. Attitudes are universally available. Attitudes are not dependent on your genes or your economics or your chosen high school. Attitudes are choices. And attitudes put to great use become skills. You can learn each one if you’re willing to make the choice.
Attitude isn’t easily captured in a GPA or a test score. But it always translates to the real world.