Successful students not only perform well academically but also are thought to do well all around. Now the question arises, what is the thing that separates the truly successful students, who get success in all areas of their lives, from others?
That is what we will cover eight good study habits of successful students and these eight habits are unique. These come from my own observations of people that I know who are successful and things I have tried to cultivate in my own life and I think every single one of them will help you in knowing the habits.
1. Think Ahead
Keep in mind, successful students are forward thinkers. J.R.R Tolkien wrote in, The Hobbit that,
It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations if you live near him.
As a student, you have many live dragons to contend with. This is not just on the academic side of things but it happens on all fronts. You have your career plans. You have relationships.
You have your earning situation, and expenses you need to run, and there is much to put on track of. In addition, when I was in college, I had many friends who always seemed to be scrambling to get these things done at the last second.
They were letting life sneak up on them but if you can build a forward-thinking mindset, this is not going to happen to you. You will position yourself for opportunities that would pass others by.
So if you are not already a natural forward thinker, if you are not automatically thinking of things that are coming up in the near future, how do you become one? We will definitely think it is possible because I did not use to be one but now I am.
When I was a kid, I remember my mom would just like to look up from whatever she was doing, oftentimes, and ask me, have you brushed your teeth today? I can remember, I am not explaining about brushing my teeth, you were not actually brushing your teeth, and it is forced into your mind to do so.
Finally, I thought it was because she wanted to care about my health and she was surely being mindful of it. I used to be that kind of person myself. If you are as I was back then, you do not already have this mental machinery put into place, the first step is to build some structures into your everyday routines that remind you to think in a forward-thinking manner.
One best way to start this is to have a reminder on your task management system or your calendar to sit down once a week and think, what do I have coming up in the near future? Do I need to go to classes?
Well then, I should have a reminder for the really exact time that the class scheduler opens so I can get in there and attend my classes before everyone else takes the good ones.
On the other hand, do I need to get an apartment soon? If you live in a college town, then it is likely that every apartment complex is to have its leases start around the exact same time.
In addition, because of that everyone is to be signing leases all in one big drove. So, do yours early, otherwise, come next semester, you are going to be living in a van down by the river.
While you are going through this mental exercise, also think about your relationships, maybe you have somebody who has a birthday coming up soon or you have a friend that you would not talk to in a while.
I find that when you actually think about these things and when you apply a forward-thinking mindset to your relationships, you tend to maintain them better.
This is an important thing because as people become older, they become busier and they start to have less time for their friends and it’s only those people who are conscious about maintaining the relationships that actually keep them.
2. Moving Towards Adulthood
The second habit is that successful students adopt deliberately adulthood. They do not let adulthood be approached. Moreover, by that, I am not talking about becoming a person who hates fun and tells kids to get out of their lawn but every human is going to have skill sets to build and many challenges they need to face at some point in their lives.
Moreover, a lot of people try to push those things off as much as they possibly can. However, if you can become the kind of person who is willing to take on those things early, I am talking about things like having your own bank account, doing your own taxes, you are filling out your own financial aid forms or like, learning how to iron a shirt or do your own laundry. Then once you have to do those things, you already have that base of skills to apply to them.
3. Solution Finding
The third habit, successful students strive to become, what I like to call, solution finders. They are the kind of people, that when faced with a tough problem, that does not have an immediately apparent solution, they are willing to push through and figure out how to solve it.
Moreover, sadly, many students are not like this. Essentially, if an employee is stuck on a problem, they have to spend 15 more minutes, working on that problem before they are allowed to ask for help.
In addition, during that time, they have to document everything they do and write down what didn’t work so that way when they do ask for help, they are able to give context to the person who is helping them.
Additionally, once they focus on the 15-minute mark, they must ask for assistance. This rule creates a nice balance. It makes them be independent and solve problems on their own but also ensures that they are not being so stubborn that they never ask for help and that ensures that they are not wasting the company’s time.
Adopting this rule actually proved very useful to you as a student because if you’re willing to solve problems independently, you’re going to solve a lot of them that you would not have truly inquired for assistance on and if you do seek help, you may show your teacher that you take the problems on a serious note and that you’re not just crying out for help the moment things get tough.
4. Building Relationships
The fourth habit is to start actively building relationships with your teachers, with your professors and with other faculty members at your school, college, or university. When you do this, you start to build a network of people who are not just in your immediate age group or at the same level of progression. It has a couple of other very good benefits.
- You would learn about opportunities you would otherwise miss
- You will have people who can write you a letter of recommendation for a job application or a scholarship;
- There are people who you can go to because now they know you and they trust you and they are going to be willing to do it.
How do you start building this network? Well, a great first step of learning comes at the start of a new semester. Go up to the teacher at the end of each class, introduce yourself briefly, shake their hand and just tell them you are excited to be there. That makes a great first impression.
Moreover, in your spare time, if you happen to find an article, that you think one of your teachers would take interest in, send him an email of the article. Just say hey, I read this and I thought of you.
I found an article about the games, I sent it to my marketing professor and said, hey I think you’d be interested in this and the next week he actually talked about it in class. By doing that definitely would help to build the relationship.
5. Learning outside of class
The fifth habit of successful students is that always try to learn outside of class. They are trying to learn from a variety of different sources and they are branching out into different areas that are not on their narrow major path. I think this should be done.
Moreover, once you take an interest in a variety of different subjects and you try to immerse yourself in different areas, you start to develop the connections in your brain that allows you to be more creative in your main work.
In addition, when you take just a little bit of time to branch out from your major path. You might stumble onto something that actually proves to be a huge boon to your future career prospects.
6. Ears to the ground
Habit sixth is to constantly be keeping your ear to the ground for opportunities. Here is the thing, when you are in school or especially when you are in college and university, there is a ton of opportunities around you. However, you have to be willing to look for them and to know where to look.
One good thing to do is to be keeping your eye out for news portals around your or in your campus area school because a lot of chances are going to be posted as fliers on those bulletin boards.
Additionally, follow your school’s social media accounts. Moreover, I’m not saying about the main social media account. Follow your professors and your teachers. Follow the departments that you are a part of it.
Because many of these departments and professors, they are going to post opportunities that they think their students would be good fits for.
This habit is actually directly related to how you can get an internship because you can follow your school’s career center on Twitter and they may post a tweet about a big company in your area that may put on this freshman leadership seminar.
So you can see the tweet, you can sign up, you will be accepted and at that, you can meet a mentor who was instrumental in getting you hired at that internship.
7. Stay physically and mentally fit
The seventh habit is that successful students try to keep themselves both physically and mentally fit. When you are a student who is ambitious, there is often a general mindset that you should be spending all of your time studying or pursuing opportunities and when many students do this, they often let their nutrition habits, their exercise habits, and their sleep go by the wayside.
What is worse, they will often work themselves to the point where they mentally burn out or they become depressed, or have a lot of anxiety. Moreover, the sad thing is, when they letting their physical and mental health go, by the way, they are not able to perform in the things that they want to be in the first place and only successful students know this fact, which is why they make time for exercise.
They make time for making good healthy meals or getting them at the dining center and they get enough sleep every single night. In addition, one little side note that I will make here; successful students are willing to ask for help if they need it.
If they are dealing with mental burn out or anxiety or depression. They will go ask a professional if they cannot deal with those issues themselves.
8. Trying before you are ready
The final habit on the list is that successful students try things before they think they are ready. I here underline this idea with something that Neil Pasricha talks about in his book, “The Happiness Equation.”
In the book, he talks about how people generally approach new skills or challenges and how they do it in a linear way.
They feel like they have to be able to do it first and then they will want to do it and finally, they will do it. However, when you think this way, you never actually get to do the thing, because you never gained the skills to do it in the first place. Therefore, Neil encourages you to take that linear model and make it circular.
Do, which leads to can do, because you are gaining skills through doing. That leads to want to do and the circle repeats and enforces itself. Moreover, you are often much more qualified than you think you are.
Many students and a lot of people in general deal with Imposter Syndrome, they think, who am I to do this, I do not have a certification. I do not have a qualification. Nevertheless, in many cases, you do not need it.
So if something looks exciting to you, but it may be scary, do it anyway because that is what successful students do in their lives.
Successful students dare to jump into the world of challenges. They are bold enough to do additional work along with their studies.