School is the launching pad for the rest of your life, master it! Anyone can be successful.
1.) Learn to give up. (Yes, really.)
Life is not a Rocky movie. Giving up is a tactical skill. Not a weakness. If you are faced with a commitment that threatens to swallow up your entire life, give up. Education is an intense environment, and grinding away at your problems until they’re solved is not enough. Your time is precious. Now, you may be thinking of the students that swear by determination and how that solely will get you through any problem, but that is not true for most students. Diligence is admirable, but it is not magic. The most valuable skill you can have in school is learning how to divide your time efficiently and reasonably. Keep in mind that important things take up important amounts of time, but if a problem takes up a destructively large amount of time, give up. That energy can be used elsewhere.
2.) Find balance.
Juggling a job, a social life, extra curriculars, and education can be extremely difficult at times, and if not balanced correctly can make you feel out of control or purposeless. Although multitasking every aspect of your life seems ideal, sometimes you have to cut things out for the sake of your mental health and well-being. Take time to reflect on what can and what can’t fit in your daily schedule, and what is important and what isn’t.
3.) Openly show your appreciation towards your school’s staff, professors, and students.
Even when it may not seem like it, kindness is all around you, especially in school. If a custodian holds a door open for you, say thank you! If there is a teacher or professor that goes out of their way to help you or be kind to you, consider writing them a card or getting them a small gift. Tokens of appreciation such as these help your instructor realize that they are doing a good job, and will encourage them to pass on that kindness to others. Being kind not only makes you feel better, but it could completely change someone’s day. Putting positivity into the classroom (and the world) leads to success.
4.) Stay. Organized.
When it comes to organization, everyone is different. I think everyone can agree that staying organized is helpful, but everyone has a different approach to what the most beneficial system is. Start with making a Pinterest board or an inspirational hunt at an office supply store. Whether it’s a planner, colored folders and binders, or setting reminders on your phone, using the tools around you will help build you to be a more prepared person.
5.) Participate in what YOU enjoy.
Attending football games or joining a club is not the only way to get active in your school! Everyone has different interests, and it is okay if you don’t enjoy what most people or your friends enjoy. What matters is finding at least one place where you thrive and feel like an active member of your school. Everywhere has countless options– newspaper, marching band, chess club– it is simply a matter of finding what interests you. If you have trouble finding that place ask an instructor for recommendations or the office for a club list.
What it comes down to is that success can only be derived from your own decisions, you hold the power. Use your resources to help you succeed in your own definition.
Newport, Cal. How to Win at College: Surprising Secrets for Success from the Country’s Top Students. Three Rivers Press, 2005.