School demands a lot out of you, especially when you also have other responsibilities that take your focus away from course work. The demands of college are true for everyone, but there are some tricks that successful students use to stay on track and be, well, successful. These tricks aren’t hard in practice, but they can be a bit overwhelming if you’ve never incorporated them into your life before, you might not know how to start incorporating them or how to stick with them but don’t worry, there are small, easy ways to start developing the habits of successful students.
1. Get and stay organized
You’ve probably heard this from your parents, orientation leaders, guidance counselors, advisors, and teachers, but getting and staying organized is crucial for successful students. Being organized helps you stay on top of your course work and balance other aspects of your life better. If being organized isn’t something you’re familiar with, start by writing down all of your due dates on a calendar and put it somewhere you will see it every day, to go a step further, write down to do lists for yourself each week or better yet every day, and be mindful of them. These two things can really help you start to better organize your life.
2. Manage time wisely
Successful students manage their time wisely. Create a schedule either in a planner, in an app, or on google drive and stick to it. Make sure to include classes, due dates, your work schedule, any meetings with advisors or any groups you are in, family plans, events you have coming up – this will help you I promise. Once you can see exactly what you have going on, you’ll be able to manage your time accordingly. If you work four days a week, have classes five days a week and are going on a weekend trip, you’ll know that in your downtime that week you really have to focus on any homework and packing for that trip.
3. Don’t put things off
Procrastination is an easy habit to fall into but it won’t help you in the long run. You don’t want to put things off, and successful students know that. Make sure you stay on top of your workload and give yourself time to complete your assignments before the night before. Write down due dates a week before they are actually due if you need to, this will help you stay on top of your workload.
4. Remember to have fun and cultivate relationships
Sometimes you can get caught up in the work-school routine and end up in a state of burnout, and that’s not good because once you hit burnout, more often than not your performance in class can start to suffer. Successful students remember that fun and relationships are just as important as class and assignments and they make sure to find time for them. That’s where creating a schedule can be helpful because you can schedule out time for friends, family, and fun activities.
5. Go to bed
Sleep. Is. Important. You can’t be the best you when your body is running on fumes because you aren’t getting enough sleep. Successful students know that sleep is just as important as studying and they try to get to bed at a good time to allow themselves to feel well rested the next day.
6. Make the most out of class time
If you’re going to go to class, be present in class. Pay attention, take notes, and ask questions, do whatever you need to do to make the most out of class time. If there’s time to work on assignments, utilize it, if your teacher set aside time for questions and there’s something you could use a little help on, ask.
7. Have a designated work/study space away from distractions
Sometimes this is hard, especially if you have roommates or live in a dorm because odds are everyone and everything is on top of each other. But even just having a desk space and putting your phone on do not disturb can help. I was once told that it takes 15 minutes of undivided attention on a task to reach a state of “flow” where you get in the zone and can really bust things out, so give yourself that time to work and finish your assignments free of distractions, it’ll save you so much time and help you be more successful.
8. Enjoy hobbies and personal interests
Successful students know that there’s more to life than grades, that’s why they make time for their hobbies and interests. These things will help you stay sane and will allow you to incorporate more fun into your life.
What do you think of these habits, or what habits do you have that you think can help others be successful students? Share them in the comments below!
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