Skip to main content

Five Tips to Help You Succeed in School

Zachary Stocks


View as a pdf

Choose subjects that you are interested in.
Follow Your Interests

Success in school is more than just good grades. A good measure of success is how well you are understanding and applying what you learn. Whether you are still in high school or soon entering college, GEAR UP wants to ensure the success of every student. Below are five fantastic tips that, if implemented in your student life, will lead to your ultimate and long term success.

1. Choose Subjects that Interest You

One of the best ways to get, and stay, motivated for a class is to choose a subject that holds interest for you. English classes may seem like a pain to many people, but if you’re like me and you love to write, then English class is probably a breath of fresh air; you will likely look forward to attending and doing the assigned work. The same goes for any subject.

You will be required to take classes at times, even when they seem tedious to you. In these cases try to view the new topic with the potential to become an ongoing interest or opportunity for you. Also, consider how the class relates to your degree and how it can help you be successful in the future. Application makes any topic less dull.

Study at the Library.
Study at the Library

2. Study at the Library

Even if you are interested in a subject, you are going to have to put forth a good deal of time and effort to be successful. There are many distractions at home – television, roommates and friends, food, your bed, etc. If you choose to study at home it is easy to get distracted by these various attention hogs, and your study time and focus are likely to be diminished. To avoid this I recommend studying at the library or some other quiet place where these distractions are removed. Not only will you spend more time studying, but your focus will be enhanced. This allows you to perform better on assignments and get more done in a shorter amount of time.

Dedicate the time.
Dedicate the Time

3. Dedicate the Time

Speaking of time; you should plan to dedicate the necessary time if you want to succeed in any class. This, of course, includes taking the time to attend class. Aim to attend every single class period if possible. In addition to the time you spend in class, you will need to dedicate plenty of time outside of class for studying and assignments as well. A good rule of thumb is to spend two to three hours studying for every one hour of class time, depending on the class. Anticipate this by planning the time for class and study as soon as each semester begins. It’s far better to have too much time set aside for studying than too little.

Discipline Yourself.
Discipline Yourself

4. Discipline Yourself

Earlier I mentioned distractions found at home, but there are many more distractions found in the life of a typical college student. Most campuses have an abundance of clubs and activities and many of them will be vying for your attention. There are enough extra-curricular activities, including time spent with friends, dating, or college related activities, to consume all of your time and energy if you allow them to do so.

In college you won’t have parents or teachers disciplining you to spend the time needed in order to be successful. You must discipline yourself. Practice self-control now by performing the tasks that will benefit you in the long run, even if you don’t feel like doing those things in the moment. Making self-discipline a habit is one of the greatest decisions you can make, and it is crucial to long term success.

Get Plenty of Rest.

5. Get Enough Rest

Resting is an important aspect of success that can easily be overlooked. Refusing to perform this easy-to-neglect activity is like driving your car without ever changing the oil; eventually the engine will seize and you will no longer have a car to drive. Changing the oil in your car may seem tedious at times, but it is far better than the alternative. The same is true for college life. It is easy to forget about rest and just get caught up in classes, school activities, friends, and everything else that is ever present in college. Refusing to rest, however, will have negative consequences, not least of which is losing focus and interest in classes and homework. This affects your classes across the board; no matter how interested in a topic you may have originally been, lack of rest will sap you of it all. If this happens, you are far less likely to be successful in any of your classes.

To avoid this, keep a consistent sleep schedule and set aside enough time each night for you to feel rested each day. Remove electronic devices and screens from you bedroom as much as possible. Don’t get involved in more activities than you can keep up with. If you find you don’t have enough time for all you want to do each day, consider cutting a regular activity that isn’t crucial to your success.