From a graduate student’s perspective, I’ve come up with a few ways to truly succeed in school. Just a reminder that everyone is different, however. These tips are not universal, but rather what I’ve learned in my 18 years of schooling. If anyone has other tips or advice, then please put them in the comments below!
1: First and most importantly, take care of yourself.
It’s not always easy, I know. With all of the papers and research and rehearsals… you never really have time to just unwind. But if you’re feeling overwhelmed, many schools have some sort of free counseling service that should really be taken advantage of. And don’t be afraid to share your input with professors; I’ve had a few professors move dates around just to make things a bit easier for their students. They want us to learn and succeed, not fail.
Also, please make sure to eat. On most of my schedules through college, I would designate specific blocks in my phone to make sure I had at least some sort of nourishment. Something is better than nothing.
2: Put time for studying right into your schedule.
Just like how I mentioned leaving blocks for food, you should do the same for studying and practicing. Humans are creatures of habit, so if you have a study block set in stone, eventually it will just become a natural part of your week. It is also important to understand that studying and test-taking are learned skills that need to be developed. There is such a thing as a bad test-taker, but that should never be used as an excuse not to keep studying and trying your hardest. If you are doing all you can and you’re still struggling, then that’s when you should seek out help and find some ways to develop your test-taking skills.
Also, even if you have no homework to do during these study blocks, start re-writing notes or do some research. Copying your notes from the previous day is a wonderful way to get it packed down in your mind. It’s tedious but effective. And if color-coding or highlighting your notes makes things even more effective, then have no shame in doing so.
3: Experiment with different study locations.
I know for myself, the best way to push through an assignment is by locking myself in a study room or in the library and just getting it done. If I’m in my room, there are way too many distractions. Isolation and quietness are how I work. If you study best in a different way, then that’s fine too! But if you’re ever finding issues staying focused, then just try out new surroundings from time to time. You might be surprised.
4: Offering tutoring services is just as important as seeking out a tutor.
If you are struggling with a chapter or section, then please always seek out help. There is a good chance one of your classmates will be able to assist, and most schools will have a tutoring service available to students. But alternatively, if you truly accel in a subject, try offering your own services to others. One of the best ways of refining your own knowledge and skills is by teaching it. Try it sometime and you’ll start to figure out your own weaknesses in your discipline.
5: And finally, actually show up to class and do the assignments.
This is something every teacher will tell you, and for a very good reason. Unless it is solely a test-based class, as long as you are showing up to classes and turning in assignments it is extremely hard to completely fail the course. Showing up and doing the homework is just half of the work, though. If you plan on getting good grades and boosting your GPA, then you will need to really study hard and reach out for help when you need it (as any good student would). But if you’re never there and you don’t turn in your assignments, you’ll never be able to succeed in the course. Dedication and hard work are so important in academic settings. Always strive to do your best.
Thanks again! Hopefully, something in this article may help you in your academic endeavors. And as always, please like, comment, and share. Your feedback and support are more than appreciated!