I’ve been puzzled by high achievers throughout my whole life. There’s always one student in the classroom that seems to know everything. He remembers stuff from a year ago. Whenever the rest of the class is stuck with a writing assignment, he doesn’t have a problem with it.
Are these students just smarter than everyone else? They might be, but intelligence isn’t the crucial factor that makes the difference. In fact, there are some very intelligent people who don’t achieve much because they are lazy. The difference is in commitment. Bright students are committed to learning, and that’s why they succeed at higher education.
Australian universities are very competitive and they puzzle most students. Still, these special individuals handle every challenge and they still have a social life. How do they do it?
I’ve been watching these individuals at uni and picked up some very useful tips from them. Now, it’s time to share the insights.
1. Aim high!
Autosuggestion is a very powerful thing. When the professor assigns a paper, there are two types of students in the class:
- “Oh no! No no! Another project! I already have too much. I couldn’t possibly handle this one.
- “Calm down, it’s okay. I’ll sleep less and work more. I already have the knowledge. I just need to share it. I can do this.”
Who has greater chances for success? Of course it’s the student who practices positive autosuggestion. The other one undermines their chances for success right at the start.
2. Note everything down!
There’s a saying my grandmother always used to repeat: “The fool remembers, the smart one writes down.” She was saying this whenever she was supposed to go to the store and she was writing a huge list of items to pick up. There’s a lot of truth in that.
There are students who are always taking notes during lectures. Whenever they hear the professor say an important thing, they write it down. That’s how they always predict questions on the tests and prepare well for them. They know what points the professor puts the accent on.
3. Calendars and planners are everything
“Okay people, the test is three weeks from now.” When the professor says that, there are two types of reactions in the classroom:
- “Three weeks? That’s plenty of time.”
- The other reaction is noting down the exact date in Google Calendar. In red! Plus, these students set a reminder two weeks before the test, so they can start preparing on time.
The students from the first group tend to out that thought in some mental folder and forget all about it. A friend reminds them about the test few days before the date and that’s when they freak out. The students from the second group are those that get great results. They have the same amount of time as everyone else in the classroom, but they are organized. That’s a huge difference.
4. Learn more than what textbooks teach us!
Let’s face it: searching for extra information online doesn’t take much time. An A-student will spend at least an hour every day searching for interesting articles related to the knowledge they gained today. You’ll spend three hours browsing through Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter feeds.
Gaining knowledge outside the traditional format is important. It’s what keeps you inspired to keep learning. It’s what makes you aware of the way theory is applied in the world we live in. That information gives sense to learning.
5. Don’t cram all studying into few sessions
Are you staying up late few nights before the important exam because you have too much material to go through? You’re doing it wrong. A-students typically space the work out over longer period of time and shorter studying sessions. They don’t process a huge load of information in the same evening. That’s why they can pay attention to details and remember more of what they learn.
If you want to take their example, you’ll have to be more consistent in your studies. Be attentive during the lectures, take notes and cement that information by going through the relevant part of the textbook the same day.
6. Have a routine
When a high achiever decides to study, they do it. And, they usually do that at the same time of the day. It’s important to create a consistent routine that you’ll turn into a positive habit.
If you’ve been studying for two hours every afternoon during the previous two months, you’ll keep that habit going without much effort. You’re emotionally and mentally prepared for that session and you’re not distracted by Facebook and friends calling you out. There’s time for everything when you know your time for studying.
7. Have a social life, too
The most successful students are not isolated from social life. In fact, they are the brightest stars on every occasion. They talk to people, they laugh and they seem totally relaxed. Somehow, they also find the time to watch GOT and discuss the latest episode. That’s because they are organized. They’ve done their studying and now they can have fun without feeling guilty about it.
Aussie A-students are no superheroes, although that’s exactly how they seem to the rest of us. The key to their success is in self-confidence and organization. Have you noticed any other habits and practices? Do share!