Welcome to my desk space!
Whether you are in high school or university, making good grades while staying sane is a constant struggle. I have carried the same habits into college that I used to do well in high school, and they have continued to help me remain a straight A student, while avoiding as much stress as possible! Are you ready? Here are my top 5 tips to be a successful student!
1. Prioritize and organize: My number one tip is to buy a planner and use it! I bought a lovely pink (of course) academic planner from my local office supply store. There are so many stylish ones that will encourage you to actually use it! I always write down all due dates and test dates so that I know well in advance when things need to be done. The syllabus for each class usually has all the due dates already established at the beginning of the semester. Then, I look at each assignment, figure out what is involved and how much time I have to do it, divide up the assignment, and do a little bit every day until it’s due. When it comes to tests, I look at how many chapters I need to study and divide the content over how many days I have, and study a little bit every day! (I use my calculator for this sometimes!) This way, when I look at my planner, I know EXACTLY what I’m suppose to get done that day. I don’t stress about not knowing if I’ll finish in time or have to cram at the last minute. A true key to my success in school has been not learning anything new the day before the test. I try to save the day before tests for reviewing everything instead of learning any new material. This has helped me to avoid a lot of stress and allowed me to do really well!
2. Maximize study time: Find a convenient time of day that works best for you to do your school work. Mine is usually at night just because I’m always busy during the day, but I prefer studying while drinking hot tea in the morning because that’s when I’m most alert! I’ve actually heard studying before bed helps you retain more of the information, so more power to you if you’re a night owl! Put your phone away, put it on airplane mode, or ‘do not disturb’ or whatever! Just try not to get distracted during study time. Being distracted on social media while studying will just make your study time so much longer. You can take a break if you’re feeling “burned out” to grab a snack, stretch or walk around so you feel a little more refreshed to go back and finish your work. Another study tool I use all the time are flash cards. There is even an app called Quizlet that I use to make flash cards on my phone, which makes it super easy to study anywhere!
3. Say “No” to socializing (sometimes): There were many weekends during high school as well as college that I was home in my room studying. It’s a hard truth, but you really have to make school a top priority in order to be successful. Especially if you have a job, you will have to divide your time between studying, work, and social life. And sadly, social life is the one that has to suffer of the three. In the long run, succeeding in school is definitely worth the sacrifices.
4. Stay healthy: Staying healthy while in school (and your entire life for that matter) is so important because you will function so much more efficiently, have more energy, and be happier, more vibrant and full of life! The ways I try to stay healthy are eating natural, unprocessed foods, exercising when I can, and getting plenty of sleep! I know a healthy lifestyle seems difficult to maintain while in school, but I promise it becomes a habit that you will never want to break once you start reaping the benefits! To get a good night sleep, make sure that 30 minutes before bed you are winding down without any bright lights. This includes your cell phones, TVs, and lap top screens. Bright lights at night affect your body’s circadian rhythm, or internal clock, and makes it harder for your body to fall asleep because your brain thinks the sun is out and shining! Avoid watching TV before bed, lower the brightness on your phone, and download the free app for your iMac called F.lux. It changes the coloring of the screen when the sun goes down to mimic the sunset and is easier on your eyes at night. Also, try to avoid caffeine other than in the morning!
5. Remember your long term goals: Making short term goals is super important, but don’t forget about your long term goals. My long term goal is to become a nurse practitioner after I finish my nursing degree. Thinking of this makes me want to work harder to get where I want to be. What are your long term goals? :)
Happy studying my fellow students!