In about two weeks, I will begin my sophomore year in college. I’m so excited to begin another year at my university and learn more about what I love. While I am beyond excited to get back to studying, I know many students are starting to feel stress, anxiety, and dread.
School is one of those things that everyone has to do, but not everyone enjoys it. Personally, I actually really like going to school. (I know total nerd alert!)
Studying, doing homework, or writing papers has always been right up my alley. It has always been something that clicked in my brain, though it hasn’t always been easy.
Just like every student, there are ups and downs. I’ve had my share of long nights, never-ending stress, and hopeless moments.
Keeping your grades up, while handling extracurriculars or sports, is a complete hassle. While in school, there never seems to be enough time.
Before school gets into full swing, I wanted to give my personal tips that will help you excel academically all year round.
1. Write Out Your Goals
When you start studying, it can get really discouraging really fast. One way to help with getting frustrated or discouraged is by writing out a set of goals. Whenever it’s time to start working on schoolwork, write out everything you’d like to accomplish.
This can include topics you’d like to understand, notes you need to read, or work you still have to finish. By writing out your goals you can stay organized, not get too overwhelmed, and figure out everything you need to do in order to have a successful study session.
2. Stay Focused
I think the hardest thing about school is keeping yourself focused. It is so tempting to pick up your phone, watch some TV, or distract yourself from the tasks at hand. If you find staying focused challenging, here are a few ways you can keep your mind zoned in on your work.
First of all, put whatever distracts you far away from your work station. If you can’t help but pick up your phone, go put it in the other room so you won’t be tempted. Another way to stay focused is to take on your tasks one at a time. It’s hard to get a specific school work item done when you’re distracted by everything else on your to-do list.
3. Have A Productive Work Space
For me, this is one of the most important ways to stay successful in school. I cannot work unless my room is clean, bed made, and my desk is ready for a productive day. Having a clean space will make you ready to knock out your schoolwork.
While cleanliness is important, you also have to remember that your desk needs to have everything you need. I personally have my Alexa on my desk, a candle, lots of pens and pencils, and my planner. These necessities keep me on my toes, proactive in my work, and focused on the tasks I need to complete.
4. Set Yourself Up For Success
In order to study and do your schoolwork, you need to think ahead of time. If you have a class that you know will be more challenging than another, then that class should naturally receive more attention than the other.
A big part of being successful in school is prioritizing. Not only do you have to work on prioritizing your work, social life, and extracurricular, but you have to prioritize some classes over others in order to be successful.
5. DO NOT PROCRASTINATE
If you are a student, then you’ve heard this saying at least a hundred times over. The reason you’ve heard it so much is because it is so so true. When you wait until the last second, you’re immediately making your schoolwork ten times harder.
On the other hand, if you start your tasks early you’ve given yourself a big advantage. Studying, homework, and projects go much smoother when you have plenty of time to do them. It will be less stressful and you’ll be much happier with the results.
6. Strive For 100%
This tip is the biggest and most important thing I’m going to write for this blog post. I live and breathe by this concept, so listen closely. While I understand that not everyone’s goal is to make straight As, this is how I’ve been able to keep a 4.0 throughout my academic career.
In school, my goal for every assignment, project, and test is to make a 100%. While this may seem a little perfectionist, here me out. Since making 100% on everything is basically impossible, naturally, I fall short.
Because I’m reaching for 100%, I end up with closer to 90-95%. While it isn’t a perfect grade, it is still a high A. When you make your academic goals as high as 100%, falling short is not the end of the world.
On the other hand, if my goal was 90% (an A in most classes) and I fell short I would then have a B in the class. To me this mindset of getting a perfect grade on everything I do as helped me so much in even my hardest classes.
7. Work For It
While mindset is important when it comes to grades, putting in the work is a must when it comes to your academics. You cannot expect to make good grades without putting your dedication and work ethic into it.
You have to be willing to sit in front of the computer to study for hours. You have to be willing to stay up a few late nights to finish an assignment. You have to be willing to work hard. Once you start working for it, you’ll notice that a little hard work goes a long way.
8. Keep Up With Your Calendar
Whether you prefer electronic or paper planners, you have to keep up with your schedule. As a student, you need to write down due dates and mark test dates. I love having a planner because it keeps me on my toes and aware of my schedule.
The worst way to make a bad grade is to forget about the assignment or test. It’s difficult to do well in school if you end up making simple human mistakes. The best way to ensure these minor errors don’t happen is by marking a calendar.
9. Figure Out How You Study
Studying looks different from person to person. Students’ preferences can vary from reading textbooks, watching videos, or skimming over notes. It’s really important to figure out which method of studying works the best for you.
Finding the type of learning that works for you can be difficult. I’ve found an online quiz that has twenty questions. This quiz can help you figure out what your learning style is and give you a better understanding of how you should study.
10. Don’t Give Up
If you’re learning a difficult topic, it can be tempting to throw in the towel. Don’t ever just think to yourself, “I’ll going to fail.” When it comes to academics, you’ve got to stay positive and look on the bright side.
No matter how appealing it is to stop studying, skip a class, or not complete an assignment, these things are only going to hurt in the long run. Stay focused, persevere, and work hard. Good grades and success are sure to follow.