As a two grad-student couple, we have mutual academic envy. I envy that she finds it easy to memorize large sums of material and pander to the system. She envies that I find it easy to acquire an intuition for the material I really care about. I envy that she's "saving the world" as an ecologist. She envies that I can make a good living out of my field.
Arguing with them on that point proved useless in the past, but now that I get interesting internships while they don't, I believe they are somehow waking up.
At least, focusing on being a 'good student' is not the worst strategy out there. If one day you come to be aware of it, it's not an irrecuperable situation.