Making the Grade: Tips on Being a Successful Student
Chances are that if you are reading this, you are already a somewhat successful student. However, the higher up you go in the education hierarchy, the more strategies you will need to stay successful. Consider these tips:
- Focus. This is the single most important strategy for success in both high school and college (and at work). Focus on what you want, on what you are doing, on where you are at the moment. If you are in college, focus on each and every class and assignment. If you are in Chem I, focus on that class, that assignment, that grade. Don’t let your attention be diluted with outside interests until your schoolwork is completed. You won’t do well in International Politics if you are fighting with your significant other or worrying about what to wear to the football game this weekend!
- Prioritize. Education is your #1 priority at this time in your life. All decisions must be made around that priority. Sure, it would be fun to spend your time off at the beach, but not if you have to finish a term paper. And it would be fabulous to hang out with your sorority sisters until 4:00 in the morning, but not if you have a final exam on cell mitosis at 9:00 the next day.
- Sleep. Get enough sleep and eat a balanced diet. This isn’t advice from Granny; it is a practical, stay-healthy-and-you-will-do better-in-school fact. Junk food, binge drinking, doing drugs, and staying up all night do not create a successful scholar. Take care of you. Your success depends on it.
- Participate. Go to all classes all the time. Skipping class is the best way to fail. Attend every class and be a part of each one. Ask questions, visit your professors during office hours and discuss class material with other students. It’s your education…so be a part of it, and strive to be good at it!
Tips for Facing Finals & Conquering Exams
Are you ready for your finals? Most high school and college students take finals before winter or summer break, so make sure you are prepared. Here are some tips:
- First, figure out if your exam is cumulative (meaning it covers everything you have learned throughout the semester) or just a regular exam that covers what you have learned since your last exam.
- If you haven’t organized your class notes, homework, and old quizzes and exams, take some time and get organized! It will really help you prepare if you have everything in order.
- Take advantage of any additional resources your teacher or professor may offer, such as a study guide, additional lectures, practice tests, etc.
- Form a study group. Get together with some other students from class (preferably the ones who actually go to class) and go over different things you have learned in the class. You can quiz one another and share notes. You can also help explain concepts that the other members of the group may not understand–and they can do the same for you.
- Finally, study, study, study. Do this over a period of a few weeks (or at least a few days). Don’t try to pull an all-night study session the night before the exam. Also, be sure to get enough sleep so that you will be alert and relaxed during your exam.
When you are finished with your exam, take a few minutes to relax and clear your mind. Hopefully, if you passed, you won’t have to deal with that class ever again (or at least until you return from break).
Student Discounts & Savings
If you are enrolled in school, you’ve probably realized that school and school-related expenses can really drain your bank account. But being a student can have its advantages. Did you know that many companies offer student discounts to those students who can show proof of school enrollment? Here are a few things to think about as you look for ways for students like you to save money:
- Need some grub? There are probably quite a few restaurants near your college or high school campus that offer students some type of discount or special promotion. Try this the next time you eat out: ask one of the restaurant’s employees if your student ID can help save you money.
- Values at venues! When you need a break from school, ask whether your student ID can qualify you for a discount at the local movie theaters, sporting events, theme parks, fairs, and concerts.
- Flying frequently? Airline companies understand that students enrolled in schools away from home will want to go home frequently and may offer student discounts. Visit their websites or give them a call to inquire about how you can save some dough the next time you travel home.
- Savvy Shopping. When you go shopping, be sure to find out if the store you are shopping in offers students any discounts. Many department stores and home furnishing stores offer students a percentage off their regular-priced purchases.
- Drive for less. Some insurance companies offer students with good grades a discount on their monthly car insurance payments. And the savings can really add up throughout the year. Keep those grades up and make sure that you are getting all the student-related discounts you can from your car insurance company.
- Healthy savings! Most college campuses have a student health center that offers student’s low cost healthcare, prescriptions and medicines. So check with your campus health center first before paying regular over-the-counter or pharmacy prices elsewhere.
- Ed-U-Savings! Being a student also gives you the advantage of getting educational discounts on computer hardware and software. Many large computer companies have special prices for students and educational personnel, and sometimes the amount you can save is huge! Be sure to research student discounts when purchasing a big ticket item like a computer.
- Speaking of savings…Saving money may be one of the last things on your mind right now, but banks may also offer students special rates or promotions on checking and savings accounts. So look for banks that cater to your student needs. If you already have a bank account, be sure to find out if you are eligible for any of the bank’s special student deals.
Transportation in College: How to Save Money on Gas
It’s no secret that everyone is feeling a financial strain due to the high price of gas. College and college-bound students may be feeling the strain even more, due to the fact that their budgets are usually, shall we say, limited? If you’ve already realized that you won’t be able to spend much on gas when you are in college, here are some options that will help you limit your trips to the gas station:
- Walk, Ride a Bike, or
Skateboard – If your destination is a
reasonable distance away, walk, ride a bike, or skateboard whenever possible. Not only will these “green” transportation options help you save money, they will also help you stay in shape…even if you order pizza three times a week!
- Use Public Transportation – Take advantage of your community’s public transportation system. You may be able to get a student or discount pass for a bus, train, or monorail. Not only can you save money, you can also rest or study while someone else is driving.
- Carpool – Rather than one person using one car to get around town, carpool with friends so that a few people can use one car and all pitch in on gas. You will all be helping the environment, saving money and getting to know each other better.
- Find a One-Stop Shop – Try to find one or two stores where you can buy everything you need at once. This will prevent you from wasting gas and running around from place to place. Before you go, make a list of what you need so you don’t forget anything.
- Buy a Hybrid – If you are in the market to buy a new car, you may want to consider purchasing a passenger car or a Hybrid, rather than an SUV or a truck. Passenger cars tend to use less gas and Hybrids can save you money on gas and help protect the environment.