How to be a successful student

I myself am a senior in college. I've struggled for years to focus on my work and not procrastinate. But after going home for a year to study from home and coming back my senior year, I've realized the key to focusing on my work and earning high grades. 


Step 1.) Don't fully cut out your electronics. 

This may sound strange because everyone tells you to cut them out. But in todays world, our classes are online, our papers are typed and our tests are even taken online. I know from experience that I can't turn my phone off and keep it off to focus. I can however collect messages from people without answering them and then answering them when I feel stuck while studying. This helps break the block that I have now created from being so focused that I no longer take in outside ideas of how to continue. It's also very helpful to give oneself breaks. 


Step 2.) Play some kind of background noise. 

You also don't need to be completely silent as you do your work. I've found that I often focus better with specific types of music or what I like to call, "filler videos" running in the background. They usually consist of a TV show that I've watch in the past or one that has a new season coming out so I re-watch old seasons to catch myself up. This also includes random history videos on YouTube that act as a background noise. Sometimes they even give me ideas on what to do for my homework that I'm currently working on. You can also find videos of solid music on YouTube that last for an hour or longer that you can use as a guide for timing how long you sit and study. 

Step 3.) Give yourself a break. 

Sometimes when I'm working on my papers, I realize that I really have to pee so I get up and go to the bathroom but then afterwards I go and get food. This gives me a small well needed break and helps me still take care of myself while still being able to come back and focus on what needs to be done. 

Step 4.) Don't listen to people who say you need to study 24/7.

We all learn at our own pace. Not everyone can sit down and study for hours on end and that's perfectly fine. When I first started college they told me that I would need to study for my classes by going by the credit hours. So a four credit class would be four hours of outside studying. Some professors even told me to double this. But if I'm doing this for at the least 12 credit hours, than that's a whole 24 hours that I could have to be studying for outside of class.  No one needs to study that long unless they need help in that subject. Studying can be done at your own pace as long as you understand the content and work that needs to be done. 

Step 5.) Join or make a study group if your having trouble. 

Study groups may sound very annoying but you'd be surprised at how many other people may be struggling with the same thing as you. If you yourself are afraid to ever start the group on your own, ask the professor to hold a study group outside of class at a time they think most students would be able to attend. Bring questions or email the professor questions that you would like to go over again. You don't always have to be alone when studying and even if your an introvert like me, study groups don't have to be scary. 

Step 6.) Don't forget to reward yourself. 

You are a student. That'd hard these days. So congratulations on making it this far. But the number one thing you should follow our of all of these steps is to reward yourself. Not everyone gets a reward after getting a 98% on that math test that you felt like you struggled with. My parents never rewarded my good grades as a kid. But as a college student, when I get a grade that I find pleasing, typically an 80% and above, then I reward myself. This can be anywhere between, allowing myself to miss a class to sleep in to getting myself some ice cream. Rewards help you feel better about your academic work. Even after studying for a few hours straight requires a small reward of something. I usually like to give myself a movie night of Disney movies if I complete a majority of what I wanted to accomplish in a day. 

I hope all of these steps will help you raise your grades and keep them up just as they have helped me. 


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