A day after a Positively Present reader asked me to write an article about how to cope as a stressed out college student, I received a copy of Daniel Wong's The Happy Student: 5 Steps to Academic Fulfillment and Success. Pretty perfect timing, I'd say. Though I'm no longer a student myself, I decided to give the book a read, figuring it would help me help the stressed out college girl asking for my help. Much to my surprise, the book was a wonderful read and provided so many lessons that could be applied not only to the life of a student but to life in general.
Being a student is hard work. Much as I would love to be back in school (a life of learning would be ideal for me), I haven't forgotten those stress-filled nights of studying, those moments when you receive a grade lower than what you'd expected, and all those hours and hours spent on topics that didn't exactly thrill me but were required for completing my degree. I've spent most of my life in school and not all of it was smooth sailing. Below are some tips from The Happy Student. I would have loved advice like this when I was back in school, but even now I'm grateful for Daniel's words of wisdom. Student or not, these tips will help you move toward a lifetime of success.
5 Tips for Successful Studying
Gauge your success by your own potenital. Success isn't about whether or not you do better than others. It's about being better than yourself, being better every single day. The more you try to compare yourself to others, the further away you'll get from understanding true success -- a word that should be defined by you and you alone. Your success should be unique to you. Don't let anyone else determine what your success should be.
Begin with the end in mind. What is it that you really want? Too often the goals we set for ourselves are arbitrary, based only on what we think we should be achieving, not what we actually want to achieve. If you want straight A's or to write a flawless thesis, go for it. But make sure you're doing it for you, not just because you think that's what you're supposed to do. Knowing what your end goal is -- a degree, becoming a subject expert -- will motivate you during the tough times.
Figure out your values -- and live accordingly. To experience long-term fulfillment, you have to look at the big picture. Learning isn't just about grades or obtaining a degree; it's about taking your knowledge and doing something awesome with it. In order to do that, it's important to know what you stand for and what matters to you. Having values (and living by them) gives purpose to your education -- and your life.
Change what's not working. If your current study habits (or any habits, for that matter) aren't working for you, change them. Don't keep doing what you've been doing unless you want to keep getting what you've always gotten. If you don't know what to change or how to change, seek advice from people in similar situations. Find a study partner or someone who can help you find more successful habits.
Stop complaining. One of the easiest things to do when things are tough is complain. It feels good to wallow in what's not working -- but all that wallowing gets you nowhere. Resolve to stop complaining about all the work you have to get done and start doing it. Learning isn't about being comfortable -- it's about pushing yourself. Complaints get in the way of your success and it's up to you to stop them from doing so.
Whether you're struggling in school or just in need of a little motivation, I'd recommend checking out Daniel Wong's The Happy Student. It's loaded with advice, quotes, steps, and questions that will get you up and on the path to a lifetime of successful learning.
Any advice for struggling student?
If you're a student, what works best for you?