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8 Habits of Successful Students


It doesn’t take much to thrive at school, we promise—it’s really as simple as establishing a few simple habits and sticking to them. Set yourself up for success and sail through school stress-free with these eight easy tips for nailing any class you take.

1. Get to know your instructors

Start the year off right by introducing yourself and becoming familiar with your instructors. Not only will it be less intimidating to ask questions later on, you’ll also stand out from the sea of faces they see every day (which is a good thing—trust us).

2. Review daily

The only way to retain what you learn in the classroom is to put it into practice in order to really master it. Put aside time daily to review what you’ve already learned and practice it again at home. A five to 10-minute daily investment will save you time and stress when exam season rolls around.

3. Be single-minded

As much as we think we have no problem getting work done with Facebook, Twitter and Netflix in the background, the truth is that you’re probably taking twice as long to do that work twice as badly. The solution? Try the Pomodoro technique. Set a timer for 25 minutes and work exclusively on one thing until the timer rings. Then set your timer for 5 minutes—this is your free time—and enjoy five minutes of Netflix, check your Facebook or go for a quick walk. Then, do it all over again.

4. Ask questions

The worst thing you can do for yourself as a student is not asking questions when you’re unclear about something. Instructors are there to help you, so don’t be shy and ask them to clarify or to repeat themselves until you understand. It’s better to understand now than panic later, and what they say is true: there are no stupid questions.

5. Don’t compare yourself

As much as we wish we could all be superstars at everything, the reality is that everyone learns at a different pace and has their own strengths and weaknesses. Don’t undermine your confidence and passion by looking too closely at the work of others. Focus on improving your work because ultimately, that’s all that matters.

6. Reward yourself

When you do a good job, reward yourself! Having something to look forward to when you’re chained to your books makes it all so much easier. That new makeup palette you’ve been eyeing, a night out on the town or something as simple a double tall vanilla chai latté tomorrow morning—indulge, because you deserve it.

7. Leverage your Resources

There are so many tools out there to help you succeed, you just need to know where to look and make sure you take advantage of them. The Internet is a big and helpful place: search for tutorials, look for tips and inspiration, or reach out for advice from those who have taken your class before. Take advantage of office hours at school and check out your school’s website to find available resources you might not even know existed.

8. Stay motivated

Whatever you do, remember why you wanted to go to school in the first place and keep that in mind, especially when you’re feeling unmotivated. Make a mood board and keep it somewhere where you’ll see it, hit up Pinterest, or watch the movies or read the books that inspired you to pursue your career. Passion is everything.

Top photo credit: A. and I. Kruk/Shutterstock

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