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ways to be a great student

Hey there! It’s a new year! My favorite season, fall, is approaching and fresh starts are here. I am not currently a student, but I still feel the newness of the season. It makes me motivated to organize and start fresh in other areas of life beyond school.

In the spirit of the academic season, I want to share some ways to change and grow toward being the best student one can be! These can be ways to improve grades, but these are more about being a good steward of the brain God has given us and doing our best. I tell my clients all the time that all they can do is their best. If their best is an “A” then that is the grade they should earn, but if they have tried their best and it is a “B” or “C,” then take it and move on! After all, no one is good at everything.

I struggled significantly in Geometry sophomore year of high school. I despised that class. Literally hated it. It made no sense to me at all. I tried. I went to tutoring after school, which was difficult - I wanted to spend less time in that classroom, not more time. My saving grace my super organized notebook, for which I received high scores. Thankfully I had that to help, but the math itself actually never improved much. It was the lowest grade I had in all of high school. The great news is, I am not in the math field! God did not create me that way. And that is just fine.

For ways to be a great student, it is helpful to:

Sit in the front

I know, I am not naturally a front row kinda girl but there is much to be said for sitting here. There are fewer distractions and it looks like you care. Anything written on a board or shown through some type of media can be seen much more easily. Engaging with the teacher and in the lesson is easier when sitting right where the action is!

Arrive early

It is much easier to learn and concentrate on the class material when not flustered from running in late, sweating profusely, and blowing your hair out of your face! Rushing in like that will keep you from focusing on learning the topic and instead just thinking about getting settled in. Arriving early will allow you to take a breath, take your time getting assignments out to turn in, and mentally prepare to take notes.

Organize the assignments

Syllabi are amazing tools! It is useful to write down all assignments in a syllabus immediately into a planner. Make it fun and give each class assignment a color so it is even easier to see what is ahead in the trusty little book. You will feel much less stressed when you can see what is coming up and can prepare, even if just mentally, for the task. It is especially easy in college or beyond where there are fewer assignments given in a semester. Many classes in college and beyond only have a few papers and projects so these count for a lot of the semester grade and are important to perform well on.


Even typing your name on a page is at least a start and provides motivation to keep going and complete a paper or project. Work on the project in advance, never wait! You never know what might come up that puts you in a frantic race to get it done on time. Completing assignments on time is important. Turning in assignments late does not represent you well and shows a lack of concern for the class. This habit will follow you to a job, to which procrastination could get you fired.


I must admit, I rarely rested in college. There was always someone to do something fun with, especially in the dorm! Midnight pizza parties were a treat! It really would have benefited me to sleep more, so I share this with you so you can benefit! Attempt seven to eight hours of sleep each night. It will keep you healthy, help you focus, stress less, and make better decisions. It is simply over all a good thing that God designed! Do it!

Organize notes

Color code and make it fun! Create headings and subheadings to keep track of what the teachers or professors say. Bullet point important facts under each section. It is easy to study when you can see the flow of the lecture. If a sentence is repeated, there is a good chance you need to write that down!

Organize the schedule

Finish homework, set out clothes and backpack for the next day. Prepare meals and snacks the night before. Setting a calm morning routine will set the foundation for a calm day. No rushing, no stressing. Plan each hour of the day. I have a planner with each hour scheduled down the page, so I can write in, color-coded of course, when I am doing what. I have a color for church activities, a color for personal activities, and so on. It helps me see the plan for the day. Super easy to glance at and see what assignments I have, clients I have, or who I am hanging out with!

Ask the teacher/professor

If you have a question, speak up and ask. Find the instructor after class and ask for clarification on a project or whatever you need. Not only does it clear up any confusion for you, it demonstrates responsibility. This attitude will take you far in life and is impressive to leadership. Do not avoid asking questions out of embarrassment. It is much better to ask and receive answers than to do poorly out of fear. Trust me, I have avoided asking and regretted it!

These actions help set the foundation for learning. Use these for yourself or share them with your kids or grandkids! These are tips that have helped me tremendously. Many of these I have learned over the years as a student. I am not guaranteeing certain grades, but they will definitely help achieve success in school, even if simply just learning to be more organized and less stressed.

A little secret I want to add is that many teachers will give students the benefit of the doubt when they know a student is putting in sincere effort. If a grade is borderline, the teacher or professor will be more willing to round up when they know their student is trying. Go out there and do your best! Love to you all!



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