How to be successful in school and life
I’m glad you are interested in learning how you can be successful in school and become the best version of yourself.
In recent times, research has shown that an interesting percentage of college graduates get jobs after school.
However, beyond the opportunity to get a job, success in school helps you prepare yourself for a successful life beyond school.
Below, I share some tips on how you can become successful in school and life no matter where you are in your academic career right now.
How to be successful in school and life
Table of Contents
Have a goal/purpose
If you do not set a goal, you can’t achieve one.
As a student, there is a reason your parents enrolled you in school – they most likely want you to be educated and amount to something in life, and fair enough.
What about you, what goals do you want to achieve as a student and in life? Do you want to graduate as the best student in your class? Or do you want to come out with a 4.5 CGPA?
If you want to be successful in life and young, set a measurable goal for yourself.
That is the very beginning of success, no successful people stumbled upon their achievements, they set a goal and pursue it zealously.
Get a new notebook and a pen and write on one page the top 5 goals you want to achieve by the time you are graduating from college, and 5 goals you want to achieve before clocking 25.
Set your priorities right
If something is a priority, it’s important. It’s of value. It’s your authentic wish or goal. That’s true whether you’re thinking about going to the gym or taking or reading a novel.
No matter how big or small, your true priorities have meaning to you.
One of the keys to success in school is to do the most important things first in other words, set your priorities right.
When you set your priorities right and go after the most important things at every point in time, then you are setting the foundation for success in life.
When you’re faced with a decision or with making something a priority, ask yourself: Is this in alignment with my goals and value?
What is the likely outcome of making this a priority? Of not making this a priority?
For example, if you have to choose between visiting a friend and reading your notes at home for your exams, asking these questions will make you make the right decision.
Staying organized does not only give you calmness and peace, it helps you achieve more.
Staying organized simply means making a plan for what you are going to do and when you are going to do it.
One of the habits of many successful young people is that they organize their daily and weekly activities.
Plan your activities for the next three days, especially what to do before and after school hours.
Write down your plan for the next weekend and try to stick to the plan.
These plans must align with your overall goals as we discussed above.
Learn to manage time
Time management is the process of organizing and planning how to divide your time between specific activities.
Good time management enables you to work smarter – not harder – so that you get more done in less time, even when time is tight and pressures are high.
Take time now to find the best time management apps you can have on your mobile phone.
These tools for instance could help you schedule events easily and can be set to remind you of events in advance, making your time management easier.
One of the disadvantages of mobile phones is that they cause huge distractions for both young people and adults alike.
If you do not get proactive and remove all distractions from your plan, it may be difficult to achieve your desired success in school and even after school.
With less distraction, you can concentrate better and concentration lets you learn more effectively.
Turn off as many push notifications as possible on your phone. Take distracting apps off your home screen.
Don’t take your devices to bed or other settings where you don’t want distractions.
If there is any habit you should cultivate if you want to be successful in school and life, it is being punctual.
Punctuality will not only help you earn the respect of others; it will also help you stay organized and focused on doing the right things and the right time.
Make it a goal to always arrive everywhere at least 10 minutes earlier.
So, make sure you get to class the next time, 10 minutes before classes begin, and make it a norm.
Actively participate in class
Do you like to participate in the classroom? Some students don’t like being heard or seen in class. Don’t be like them.
Feel free to express yourself always in the classroom, answer questions posed by your teachers, ask them questions too.
Class participation help boost your memory, thus, improves your academic performance.
The next time you are not clear about what your teacher has taught you, raise your hands up and politely tell them that you need further clarifications.
You will see how happy you will feel afterward.
Take notes in class
Taking notes will not only help you concentrate more in class but will also make it easier for you to study when exams roll around.
It’s easier to re-read your notes than loads of textbooks with countless pages.
You don’t have to pen down everything your tutor says verbatim – that will only complicate issues.
Put down the important concepts, examples, and other points that would aid your understanding during the study.
When you are in class tomorrow, get your note and pen ready to take notes once the class begins. Remember, you would be re-reading your notes, so write down important points only not jargon.
Have a dedicated time for study
One of the successful student habits you should cultivate is to have a dedicated time period for study.
When you have a set time for study daily, you are better able to get all distractions out of your way and get some study time.
If you do not have a particular time that time scheduled for study, you may struggle to no avail.
Write down your daily schedule – including school hours, homework time, and other chores in the home – and fix the best time you can study daily.
It could be 9 pm after the day’s activities or 7 pm after dinner daily, just fix a convenient time and stick to it.
Review new information you learn on the same day
Another practice that will help you achieve your goal of being successful in school and in life is to always review new information once you receive them.
Once you learn a new topic in school that your teacher taught, make sure to go through that information immediately you get home while the information is still fresh.
This practice not only helps you remember the information, but it also makes your reading much easier, smoother, and more effective.
Throughout this week, go through all your new notes once you get home that very day. Do this for a week and then the next week till you get used to it.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
There are two things successful leaders have in common, they are good listeners and they freely express themselves.
Don’t be that student who will never ask any questions in class whether they understand the subject or not.
Even if you are shy, it’s better to feel a little uncomfortable while you ask your questions than to remain silent.
And remember, it doesn’t matter if your question makes sense or not, your teacher would be proud of you for making an attempt in the first place.
Anytime your teacher is teaching and you don’t quite understand some things, put them down in writing, and when the opportunity presents itself, politely ask your teacher to shine more light on it.
If there is anything you’ll take away from this piece, read widely! There are only a few things that could contribute to being successful in school and life than becoming an avid reader.
Don’t just read your school textbooks or recommended texts; read biographies, history books, books about startups and successful people, novels, and all other books you find.
Start to develop a reading habit today. Read for 30 minutes daily for now starting today. Then after a week of success, increase to an hour.
If you read one book in two weeks at one hour or two hours daily, you would have read 92 books at the end of 12 months. Not too shabby, right?
Maintain a healthy lifestyle
It is only those who are living that can become successful. So, one of the most important tips on living a successful life as a student is to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Some of the lifestyles and habits that will improve your health whether you are a student or an adult are these:
- Exercise daily
You can never imagine the good that 20-30 minutes of 5 days in a week will do to you. Apart from keeping you healthy throughout the day, exercise also helps you stay motivated and mentally alert.
- Drink plenty of water.
Drink 3-4 liters of water daily. That’s the recommended quantity but there can never be too much water except the need to go to the restroom too often.
- Have enough sleep
7-8 daily hours of sleep is the recommended sleep time for a healthy body and mind. Try and get enough sleep daily if you want to become a great student.
- Eat plenty of fruits
It’s interesting how the most beneficial foods are the most affordable. It costs a lot of money to live on a junk and unhealthy diet while fruits and vegetables are relatedly affordable.
If you want to be successful in high school, college, or the university, be intentional about what you put in your mouth. Do more fruits and vegetables.
That way, you’ll fall sick less often and be able to concentrate on your studies.
Seek for opportunities
Does school make you successful in life? I’ll tell you the truth, not really. To be successful in life, you need to position yourself to attract opportunities.
This is because there are so many educated people and too little success to go round all of them, so you need to bring more than your certificate to the table.
Learn any of these digital skills to be a step ahead of your peers and always be on the lookout for opportunities you can tap into.
Acquire new skills
If school doesn’t necessarily make you successful, learning skills that are needed in the job place today and skills for self-sustenance is a key to success.
Wake up very early daily
Tom Corley once carried out a survey where he interviewed about 233 self-made millionaires in the US. He also surveyed some people who earn less than $35,000 per annum.
Interestingly, nearly 50 percent of the self-made millionaires in Corley’s research got out of bed at least three hours before their workday actually started.
Many of them use their free time to tackle personal projects, plan their day, or make time for exercise.
“Getting up at five in the morning to tackle the top three things you want to accomplish in your day allows you to regain control of your life,” he writes. “It gives you a sense of confidence that you, indeed, direct your life.”
Now, the question is, do you also want to be like these wants and even more successful?
Get to bed early at night every day. This will allow you to wake up earlier and still have enough sleep (7-8 hours).
Once you wake up very early, read, pray, meditate, exercise, and do other very important activities before you start the day’s main activities.
Learn to save money as a student
Wanna be successful in life? Learn how to save money from now. Do I mean the money you have in the bank will automatically give you a successful life? No.
However, having some savings as a young person will help you do something that most successful people do– investment.
You don’t have to be a 30-year-old before you can invest in stocks, bonds, or even other portfolios. All you need is to start saving little money right now. $2 is not too small, after all.
If you start now to learn how not to spend all your money on buying things, you will be laying a foundation for yourself to become very successful after school.
You will also have enough money to fund your dreams.
As always, if there is anything I didn’t touch on in this post, feel free to let me know in the comment session.
Also, let me know if there is anything you want me to talk about in the blog or my YouTube channel.
Do you want to make money right from your campus and start building a successful life from school?
Bukola Owo-Bello is a spirited storyteller, content creator and YouTuber who loves sharing amazing opportunities, inspiration, and ideas with forward-thinking African youths.
Follow her on YouTube, TikTok and Instagram on @BukkiTalks