Making the Grade: Tips on Being a Successful Student

Chances are that if you are reading this, you are already a somewhat successful student. However, the higher up you go in the education hierarchy, the more strategies you will need to stay successful. Consider these tips:

  • Focus. This is the single most important strategy for success in both high school and college (and at work). Focus on what you want, on what you are doing, on where you are at the moment. If you are in college, focus on each and every class and assignment. If you are in Chem I, focus on that class, that assignment, that grade. Don’t let your attention be diluted with outside interests until your schoolwork is completed. You won’t do well in International Politics if you are fighting with your significant other or worrying about what to wear to the football game this weekend!
  • Prioritize. Education is your #1 priority at this time in your life. All decisions must be made around that priority. Sure, it would be fun to spend your time off at the beach, but not if you have to finish a term paper. And it would be fabulous to hang out with your sorority sisters until 4:00 in the morning, but not if you have a final exam on cell mitosis at 9:00 the next day.
  • Sleep. Get enough sleep and eat a balanced diet. This isn’t advice from Granny; it is a practical, stay-healthy-and-you-will-do better-in-school fact. Junk food, binge drinking, doing drugs, and staying up all night do not create a successful scholar. Take care of you. Your success depends on it.
  • Participate. Go to all classes all the time. Skipping class is the best way to fail. Attend every class and be a part of each one. Ask questions, visit your professors during office hours and discuss class material with other students. It’s your education…so be a part of it, and strive to be good at it!

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