How does one achieve success in college? Is there a foolproof recipe? Is there any strategy that you can follow and expect to get good results? Well, a college education can be very different depending on what university you attend and what discipline you study. Some courses require a great deal of creative work, others are more dependent on following the rules of formal research. However, some things remain the same no matter what you study. There are habits that increase your chances of being successful irrespectively of your chosen major. In this article, we will cover some of them that you can start cultivating right now.
1. Go to Class Every Day
This may sound like a definition of a boring life, but it is still true. The best habit you can develop to achieve academic excellence is simple and boring – you just have to make it a rule to always go to all your classes, without skipping anything, ever.
Why is it so important? There are a few reasons. Firstly, being consistent about attending classes teaches you discipline and gives your life structure. Secondly, it is much easier to understand the topics you have heard covered by your professor in class than it is to figure things out on your own later. If you skip a lecture and try to study its contents using somebody else’s notes, you will spend more time doing it and end up with a poorer understanding of the subject.
2. Learn to Focus
Jokes about procrastination and lack of concentration may be funny; suffering from these problems – not so much. Your inability to focus and get rid of distractions may be your greatest detractor on the road to success. If you cannot write more than a few words of your essay without getting distracted, you do not just waste a lot of time, you end up writing papers of poorer quality.
Get rid of distractions. Turn off your smartphone. Install an app like RescueTime. Put on noise-canceling headphones when you write. Try meditating before you sit down to write the first draft of your paper to bring your thoughts into order. Read the prompt carefully, paying attention to every word.
3. Learn Planning and Time Management
We are all familiar with the concept of time management, but how many of us actually do anything to control our time? You can see examples of people mishandling their time everywhere; showcases of proper time management are much less obvious. Here are some ideas that can help you:
- Create a to-do list. Write down things you intend to do every day and try to complete everything from it by the evening;
- Set deadlines for the assignments you are currently working on. Make sure you spread them out so that you have enough time to complete each task;
- Set specific times when you do certain types of work. For example, if you have to prepare for a test, spend two hours doing it every day and always start at the same time.
4. Do One Thing at a Time
Multitasking can make you feel effective and efficient, but in reality, the only effect it has on your performance is negative. The human brain is simply incapable of working on several different things at the same time. In fact, you do not multitask – you just quickly switch from one task to another, without paying proper attention to either of them. Therefore, for optimal results, you should focus on a single thing at a time. If you write a text, write it, word after word, sentence after sentence, paragraph after paragraph. If you read a textbook, read it, and do not let your mind wander off.
5. Get Enough Sleep
Having enough high-quality sleep and maintaining a regular sleep schedule is just as important a component of success both in college and beyond as putting effort into your work and looking for ways to improve yourself. If you do not get enough sleep or do not maintain proper sleep hygiene, you will not be able to work at your full capacity, irrespectively of how diligently you work. Just keep in mind that “enough sleep” is different for everyone.
6. Do not Put Things Off
Procrastination is the worst enemy of your college success. By putting things off, not only do you increase the likelihood of not completing a job on time, but also make the eventual result worse. The next time you get a set of definition essay topics to work with, get down to it immediately, without waiting for an optimal time to come.
Habits are an important part of success in life. Different people have different resources, but what you do with them is largely determined by how you behave day to day, week to week, year to year. Of course, the habits we wrote here about are just a small sample of activities and approaches to life that can help you get better – but we are sure that you can get far by using them!