35 Valuable Tips for Successful Students
For our latest giveaway, I asked readers to share their most valuable college tips. The responses were incredible, and really made me proud to be apart of a site with such a great audience.
To celebrate this, I’ve compiled a list of some of the best tips shared, adding detail, and linking to some relevant posts we’ve published for each topic. There’s a wide range to explore, from tips to help you improve study sessions to leading a more balanced life, so dig in and let us know even more this time around.
Hopefully they help you all become more successful students and give you a resource to come to for motivation when you’ve hit a rough patch.
- When you’re tired, try to limit how often you force yourself to stay up in order to study. You’re more likely to retain information and do better work after a good night’s rest. (Matt)
- Avoid working in your room whenever possible! Go to the library or a quiet spot on campus to focus better and come back to the dorm stress free. (Allen)
- If you have a lot going on during the week, use your free time on the weekend to catch up on reading and other small assignments. The more you get out of the way, the less to worry about. (Zara)
- Take breaks during study sessions to prevent burnout and improve overall memorization. The more comfortable you are studying, the better the session! (Sam W.)
- Evernote’s Page Camera feature can help you backup your handwritten notes and make the content searchable for future reference. Use it as a safety net to enjoy the simplicity of taking notes by hand in class without worrying about misplacing your work.
- Try various forms of audio to help you concentrate. Coffee shop noise can be surprisingly great for some, while various forms of music may help others. (Danii)
- Keep your work in check by actually using a planner! Adding this structure makes tasks easier to tackle and will prevent you from forgetting an assignment. (Zach)
- Don’t put off assignments! Get started on homework the day it’s assigned while the material is still fresh in your mind. You’ll get more done and have time to enjoy yourself later. (Donato Martino, Sharrian, and Edacles)
- Try to get your most-dreaded tasks out of the way first. If you find yourself procrastinating, break it down into small parts. Once that’s out of the way, you’ll find it’ll be much easier to focus on your other work. (Alex Simkim)
- Start your day with a short list of easily-accomplished tasks and make it your job to complete them. Once you’ve made a routine out of this, add more and more difficult tasks. (Fran)
- Use OneNote to go paperless and organize your entire academic life! (Kyle J. Fender and John)
- Cook meals as often as possible. You’ll save a massive amount of money over time and be healthier in the process. (Fong)
- Live an overall balanced life and you’ll see better school performance and have a better outlook on things. This means sleeping, eating, and exercising well! (Court)
- If you find it hard to concentrate in the morning, make time for a decent breakfast. It could be what you need to get going and will prevent your stomach from growling during class. (Alisa Yanytska)
- Moderation is one of the most important things to keep in mind during college. Not only when it comes to having fun, but for every aspect of college life. Always keep our work smarter, not harder motto in mind.
- Make exercise a fun experience by working out with friends and incorporating fun apps to keep you motivated. A recent Purdue University study found that students who work out at campus gyms get better grades compared to the rest of the student body.
- To improve sleep quality, take ten or more minutes to unwind before bed by shutting everything down and simply reflecting on your day.
- Get in the habit of going to bed early so you can wake up earlier and have more time to prepare. (David)
- If you’re the forgetful type, get in the habit of utilizing your phone’s calendar and alarms for everything in life. Assignments, bills, chores — you name it, start tracking it! (Cori Westphal)
- Always find time to relax! College can often be a busy, stressful time, but burning out will waste a lot more time than getting out and enjoying life every once and a while! (Obliviga)
- Volunteering is a truly rewarding experience. After a tough week at school, you can feel good about making a difference. (Sandy and Allison)
- Put as much of your paycheck into savings as possible. Not only will you learn to value your money more, but you’ll have reserves to turn to in case of an emergency. (MollisW)
- Campus Clubs are a great way to connect with like-minded students you may not have otherwise been able to meet in college. (Daniel)
- Having a long-term goal is a great way to motivate yourself through tough times. (Lyk)
- Participate as much as possible in groups, class, and relationships! Get out and enjoy your newfound friendships, and use all college has to offer to develop as a person. (Vidit Kothari)
- Being genuine will get you far in life. People will pick up on it and be naturally drawn to you. (Victor Paredes)
- Get ready and leave for class 10 minutes early. Sure you can rush and make it, but why add unnecessary stress to college? (Jonathan Watson)
- Get to know your professors. They’re all different and knowing what they like and don’t like can benefit you greatly when you need extra help. (Jon)
- Complete all the extra credit you can handle! Even a top student can find themselves with a sub-par test score in a tough class, so the boost can help keep your overall grade high. (Danielle B.)
- Don’t make a rash decision when it comes to dropping out or changing majors due to overload stress. Talk it over with an advisor, professors, and various others in your life. You may be able to find a solution to your stress while staying in your current program. (Lucy Hutcheson)
- When listening in class, connect with a topic by repeating things that stand out in your mind. If you make a conscious effort to be more mindful of what is being said, you’re more likely to remember it.
- Pursuing a major you’re genuinely passionate about is one of the best ways to stay happy throughout college. (Annie Nuyen)
- Use eTextbooks as much as possible! They’re cheaper, searchable, and more convenient than your old, heavy physical textbooks. (Samantha Rubee Garcia)
- Don’t undervalue office hours! Your professor or TA will often help you out if you’re genuinely seeking guidance. (Gonzalo Jose Sequeira and Dylan Smith)
- Make a habit of recording lectures for future reference. You may find you missed something important while you were busy taking notes. (Kimbre Francis)