Being an incredible student takes more than simply signing up for classes. Often, becoming the best version of yourself at school can help you to find the path you need to take to achieve your unique potential. After all, if you devote your time and energy to becoming a good student, the chances are that you’ll learn valuable skills, talents, and confidence that will help you in the future.
Being the best possible you at school starts with taking a close look at yourself, and asking whether you’ve got the right attitude, whether you treat other people with respect, and whether you’re doing everything you can to be at your best.
To help you get started in making that evaluation, we’ve put together this handy step-by-step guide on how to get the most out of your academic experience.
Step 1: Consider Your Mindset
The first step in becoming a better student and maximizing your academic experience is considering your mindset. Have you got a set of goals that you’re working towards – do you know where you want to go after your studies are completed? Think about what motivates you to learn, and whether you’re taking the appropriate steps to meet your ambitions in life. If you’re simply floating along and doing the bare minimum, then you’re obviously not getting the most out of your academic life.
Step 2: Challenge Yourself
Chances are that you or your parents are paying good money for your education – so it’s important to make sure that you’re actually learning something. If the classes that you’re taking seem too easy – or don’t interest you, look for ways you can get involved with new topics that will challenge and interest you. Don’t simply take classes because you want an easy way to get through high school – be passionate about what you’re learning. We only grow through being challenged.
Step 3: Put Learning First
It’s very easy to get pulled into the “party” lifestyle during a school experience – particularly when you’re a college student. However, it’s important to remember just how valuable your learning really is. In other words, you need to be prepared to put learning, both academic and about yourself, ahead of all of your other priorities – even if it doesn’t seem like the most entertaining option. Chances are high that if you get stuck in a party mentality, even if you are accepted into college, that you won’t be successful there. Make sure to be “all in” – and ready to learn.
Step 4: Don’t be Afraid of the Front Row
If you’re shy, then you might find sitting in the front row to be an uncomfortable experience at first. However, it’s worth noting that this is one of the best ways to ensure you’re paying attention to everything you’re being taught. When you’re in the front row, you can usually hear better, see better, and have better access to the teacher if you need to ask questions.
Step 5: Ask Questions
This can be another difficult task for people who are lacking in confidence or self-esteem, but asking questions is one of the most essential ways to ensure you’re learning. If you don’t understand something that is being taught to you, the only way to expand your knowledge is to ask your professor about it. If you’re in the front row of your lecture hall or classroom and you’ve been making eye contact with your instructor – he or she will already know by the expression on your face that you’re confused – or that you don’t fully understand. All you need to do to ask a question is simply raise your hand.
If the time to interrupt isn’t now, you can always use the “Parking Lot” method. Make a note of your question and approach the teacher later for some one-on-one explanation or ask it when the time is appropriate. In this way you’ve “parked” your question for the moment, but it is safely written down so you won’t forget it. This can be particularly useful if you find yourself getting very lost by one subject or another – as none of your classmates will be impressed if you’re constantly halting the learning experience to ask one question after another.
Step 6: Schedule Your Time
You most likely already have a timetable provided for you that outlines exactly when all of your classes take place. At Hyde, this timetable includes classes, sports, mealtimes, Discovery Group meetings, study time and community meetings. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t adapt your schedule to fit in other things that you might need. For instance, if your brain functions better after eating healthy snacks, you could schedule in some time to run into town to stock up on study session nibbles.
Step 7: Form a Study Group
Most people really do learn better when they’re able to interact and bounce ideas off other people in a group. If you find that it’s difficult to study alone, you can always form a study group, or join one that already exists. There are plenty of great benefits to studying in a group. Not only do you have to be organized and focused on the task at hand, but you also open yourself up to the opportunity of making stronger connections with your classmates – which can be important for people who are lacking confidence in their school experience.
Step 8: Create a Study Space
Whether you prefer to study alone or study with a group – the last thing that you need is to be disturbed by outside sources that could end up distracting you or calling you to procrastinate. Make sure that you or your group has a specific space that you can retreat to when you need to focus on your academic goals. This could be a library, a quiet room, or even an unused classroom.
Step 9: Remember to Relax
Finally, as important as it is to stay on top of all of your studying and class requirements, remember that it’s also crucial to look after yourself. Take time at the end of the day to sit and unwind, and make sure that you get plenty of sleep. Stressing yourself out by burning the candles at both ends with your academic studies isn’t going to help you achieve more. The chances are that you’ll get the best success when you find a careful balance between study and relaxation. Hyde makes sure students stay relaxed during the month of December, when Wellness classes are offered three times a week. Students take a break from the rigor of their academic days and spend time doing yoga, knitting, cooking, reading, kickboxing, working out, and many more activities that soothe the soul and relax the mind.
School can be overwhelming, but you will only get out of it what you put into it. Follow these simple steps and we can assure you that you will be amazed by the feeling of being the best possible you.