As a High School student, you probably have asked yourself how to be a good student. You also probably equate success with getting higher than average grades in every subject.
In real life, however, while having high grades can help you get into a university of your choice or serve as stepping stones for a great future career, they are not the true gauges of success.
Nowadays, even potential employers are looking for fresh graduates who are all around. This means fresh faces who not necessarily have high grades, but have the drive and determination to work and advance themselves and the company and establish beneficial relationships with others.
If you want to transform into a highly successful student, there are ten habits that you need to develop. It doesn’t matter if you’re only in the first year or even if you’re graduating.
No time is too late to start developing the habits that will guarantee your success in the future.
Let me list down for you these ten habits on how to be a good student.
1. Get rid of fatalistic thinking.
People who believe in The Secret and the Law of Attraction love to say “What you think, you create.” In a way, this is true.
If you’ve had not-so-good experiences in school in the past, you start to develop the mindset that you are doomed to fail and/or that there is no hope for you to improve. However, by clinging to this mindset at the beginning of or the entirety of a school year, you block yourself from going beyond your limits and earning the school success that you deserve.
To get rid of this fatalistic thinking, tell yourself at the beginning of the school year that you will improve this year. You might want to keep a notebook of positive affirmations/goals that you intend to achieve. These positive thoughts will give you the confidence to face the challenges that you will encounter in school.
Such affirmations include “I will do better in school this year and in the coming years”, “I will maintain a positive attitude even in my difficult classes”, and “No more stress and anxiety for me when I get a poor grade. This is a challenge I can overcome by studying harder.”
2. Become a Forward Thinker
A forward thinker is a person who anticipates potential problems or challenges early on and takes the necessary steps to address them early. This is where establishing a good task management system comes in.
At the beginning of every school year, make it a point to ask your teachers in every class if they can provide you with their syllabus or lesson plan. Having this plan on hand gives you an idea on topics to expect in the future.
You can already make a tentative schedule, noting down the topics assigned for the week and allotting hours daily to do some advance studying. If math is a problematic subject for you, you can also do advance studying by not only reading the chapter, but also answering related exercise problems in your textbook or online.
Another good example of forward thinking is determining the availability of elective subjects at the start of the school year. You might want to consider taking basic computer lessons, learn a different language, or other courses that are related to your interests. These electives are a great start to learning important knowledge and gaining the vital skills for your future career.
3. Be A Solution Finder
There will be occasions wherein you may find yourself stumped on a particular problem. Rather than decide to leave it blank and copy from a classmate the following day or ask for help from your teacher, develop the habit instead of becoming a solution finder.
You can develop this habit by utilizing the Corson Technique or, as it is more popularly known, the 15 Minute Rule.
How do you apply this technique? If you are stuck with a problem, devote an extra 15 minutes more of your time to put onto paper or document everything that you have done to tried to solve the problem and the particular things that you did that did not work.
Usually, by listing down the things that didn’t work, you may discover the right solution to your problem. If you are still stuck, go to your teacher and present them with your list of failed solutions so that they can point out where you went wrong and give you the correct answer.
4. Be a Builder of Meaningful Relationships
Knowing how High School environments are, you may have observed how cliquish students can be. You can see the athletic types, the popular guys/ gals, the nerds, etc., forming their own little groups. You may have already discovered that it’s “not cool” to have good study relationships with teachers or else you’ll be labeled a “suck up.”
However, in real life, you can’t just form or be a part of a clique. You need to deal with all types of people and learn to get along with them. So, if you want to be a builder of meaningful relationships, break the status quo and start during High School.
In learning how to be a good student, don’t just limit yourself to friends whom you share interests with. Reach out to fellow students who can help fill what you lack. For example, if you’re not into sports or you’re sickly and reluctant to exert yourself, make friends with an athlete. They can help develop in you an interest in a particular sport. Because relationships are a two-way street, you can help your new friend if he/she is struggling in a particular academic subject, like Math or History.
In another example, if you’re the one who’s athletic and floundering in your academic subjects, try to overcome your dislike of nerds and other studious types. These individuals will not only help you in your problem subjects, but they can also cultivate in you a greater appreciation and love for studying.
Now, don’t worry about being labeled a “teacher’s pet” if you choose to establish a good relationship with your teacher. Having a teacher as a friend does not mean that you will have greater opportunities to have higher grades out of being his/her “favorite”
They can, however, help you if you are having problems with certain topics in class. Teachers can also serve as advisers for you, recommending good scholarships that you can try for or jobs that you might want to consider applying for in the future.
Once you have established a relationship, always keep in regular contact. Don’t be a snob if these people are not useful to you at that time. Make it a point to hang out with these friends from time to time, and not just your clique. If it’s a teacher, you can determine what their interests are and share website links, journal articles, etc. with them.
5. Extend Your Learning Outside Class
One of the essentials on how to be a good student is by not limiting your learning to your classes in school. There are many learning opportunities that you can grab outside of school. In doing so, you not only establish meaningful relationships with other people outside the school, but you also have the opportunity to learn new things and gain much-needed experience and skills from them.
6. Always Be On the Alert for Opportunities in School
Okay, when I say opportunities, I’m not talking about taking more classes to further burden an overflowing daily schedule.
However, opportunities abound that will help you to develop skills or test what you have learned in classes. For example, if you’re good at English, you can join a writing contest.
You might even want to consider submitting articles or stories. Don’t just limit your submissions to your school paper. Go big by submitting to major newspapers, journals, publishers, etc. Even if you get a rejection slip, the editor comments accompanying the rejection notice can help you to improve your writing skills.
7. Always Try Before You’re Ready
In his book The Happiness Equation, Neil Pasricha observed that people delayed from pursuing what they want to do because they would rather develop the necessary skills first. The result is that they DO NOT fulfill their goals since they never really gained the skills they needed.
It’s actually quite simple. If you want to achieve your goals, you need to develop the skills to do it. To develop the skills on how to be a good student, you have to jump off the deep end by doing what you want to do.
Let’s say you want to create your own website, but you don’t know anything about web design. Rather than wait for your teacher to teach you the basics in school, take the plunge by learning all this stuff yourself.
You can start with free DIY websites with templates. By tinkering with the various commands and applications, you learn how to tweak the templates to meet your preferences.
As you become more proficient, you study the layouts of other sites by clicking “View Source” or “Inspect Element.” Needless to say, as time passes, you are not aware of the fact that you are developing the skills of a web developer, a position that is in high demand among companies today.
8. Always Stay Healthy
One important step in the process of how to be a good student is being healthy. Because there seems to be so much you need to study, you tend to neglect your health.
Eat a healthy diet, especially one that is rich in fruits and vegetables and brain and memory foods like fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, dark chocolate, turmeric, blueberries, nuts, and seeds.
Try to get some exercise into your schedule. It can be as simple as walking or jogging to school rather than taking the bus.
Last but not least, make sure that you get eight hours of sleep every night. So that you don’t pull too many all-nighters studying, sneak in some time in the library while still in school.
Doing your homework in school while the lesson is fresh in your mind will not only give you higher grades. It will also help you to keep a good sleep schedule at night.
9. Set Realistic Goals
Being a teenager in High School, you have the tendency to think big. You want to achieve lots of things. The problem is if you fail at something, you tend to feel as if your world has crashed. You always question yourself on how to be a good student and yet you never found the answer. The result is that you would rather not take any more risks for fear of failing again.
Instead, set realistic goals for yourself. For example, it’s impossible for you to understand and master three chapters in your textbook in one reading. Instead, apply our Tip #2 above.
Schedule these chapters for reading in advance. You don’t even have to read an entire chapter in one day. Try reading the chapter a section at a time, taking notes or making flash cards as you do so. If you are still confused about what you have read, take your notes and bring them to your teacher so that he/she can explain it further.
Don’t overload yourself. Make it a point to take 5 to 10-minute breaks to relax your mind. Give yourself an incentive by setting a reward upon completion of your goal. Examples of this are binge-watching your favorite TV show on Netflix or going out with your friends.
10. Prepare for Adulthood
Let’s face it. You won’t be a teenager all the time, relying on parents and friends to help you. As early as High School, you can already learn the necessary skills and responsibilities of adults. That’s how you take a step in learning how to be a good student.
For example, High School teachers give lessons on finances and money management. They will also teach you how to process your tax documents and how to pay them on your own.
If you foresee striking out on your own in Uni, learn to be independent. Ask your Mom to teach you how to wash and iron your clothes. You can also ask her to teach you how to cook.
These ten habits will not only transform you into highly successful students, but working adults as well. It is important for you to develop these habits while still in High School in preparation for college and adulthood. Now that you know how to be a good student, it’s time for you to apply these tips in your life! Remember it only takes 21 days to create a habit and 90 days to create a lifestyle.