What distinguishes truly successful students who excel in all areas of their lives from those who simply excel academically?
Successful students are visionary thinkers.
There’s a great line in J. Tolkien’s The Hobbit:
– You shouldn’t exclude a living dragon from your calculations if you live near one.
As a student, you have to contend with many living dragons in all areas: career plans, relationships, life situations, assignments, etc.
When I was in college, I had a lot of friends who were always trying to do something at the last second. They were always letting life catch them off guard and always needed help with coding homework. But if you cultivate a forward-thinking mindset, life won’t do that to you. You need to build some rules into your daily life that will remind you to think forward.
For example, you can create a reminder in your calendar or daily planner to sit down once a week and think: what do I need to do soon?
RELATIONSHIPS WITH YOUR ENVIRONMENT.
You need to always maintain relationships with the people you know. As people get older, they don’t have much time to maintain friendships. But it’s also worth thinking ahead here. You never know how your life will turn out in 10 years. You may need help.
So if you have good friends or buddies, try to always keep in contact with them. You don’t have to communicate every day. You can at least wish them a happy birthday. This will be a kind of sign that you still remember them.
You can be an excellent student at university, a super athlete, and still be completely unprepared for adult life. Successful students don’t let adulthood sneak upon them. Rather, they consciously move toward it.
What do I mean by that phrase? Each of us will sooner or later have to face the challenges that come with adulthood. Challenges such as:
- Dealing with finances.
- Knowing how to iron things
Many people try to put these problems off as long as possible, which leads to difficulties later on. If you actively tackle these problems early on, they will be easy to deal with once your parents stop taking care of you.
SEARCHING FOR A SOLUTION.
Successful students tend to be solution seekers.
Faced with a difficult problem that has no obvious solution, solution seekers try to solve it on their own. Unfortunately, many students are not like that. They immediately give up the moment they encounter difficulties. Successful students, on the other hand, are persistent and believe they can solve their problems.
The 15-Minute Rule
One American architecture company has a 15-minute rule. When an employee gets stuck on a problem, they must try to solve it on their own for another 15 minutes before asking for help.
During that period, they have to take notes so they can ask questions of the person helping them later. Finally, once the 15 minutes are up, they should ask for help. This rule helps employees find balance: they learn to be independent and sort themselves out, but they don’t waste a lot of time if they are stuck.
For a student, this rule can be very helpful because you can solve quite a few problems on your own. If you think about it first and only come up for help later, you will show your instructor that you take the problem seriously.
Successful students work actively building relationships with faculty and other staff members at their university.
When you do this, you create a network of people in different areas. This habit has some very good benefits:
You’ll learn about opportunities you might have missed.
You’ll have people who can write you recommendations for jobs or competitions – people who are much more reliable than your roommate Andrew.
STUDYING OUTSIDE THE UNIVERSITY
Successful students always try to study outside of the university.
Learn information from a variety of sources. Watch YouTube videos, read books, take courses. Get interested in different subjects and areas of life. This will broaden your horizons.
Once you “branch out,” you may come across some cool projects.
For example, my best friend, like me, went to university majoring in Construction. However, he also had a language learning blog.
The blog helped him gain recognition in the language community and work as a web developer after college even though the company didn’t like hiring graduates of other majors.
Successful students constantly keep their ears open for new opportunities.
When you go to university, there are plenty of opportunities around you, but you have to be willing to look for them and know where to look.
You can find them with the help of:
- Campus bulletin boards
- On the official website
- On social media (university, institute, and department groups)
STAY PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY HEALTHY
Successful students put a lot of effort into keeping themselves physically and mentally fit.
There is often a perception among ambitious students that you should spend all your time studying or pursuing new opportunities. However, when you do this, you often let your nutrition, exercise, and sleep take a back seat. And worse, you may work on yourself to the point where you become psychologically burned out, depressed, or anxious.
Abraham Lincoln used to say:
– Give me six hours to cut down a tree, and I’ll spend the first four hours sharpening an ax.
Truly successful students know that they need to devote themselves to health, exercise, and sleep. That’s why they eat good food, exercise, and get enough sleep.
It’s also important to note that successful students seek help when they need it. If they are dealing with depression or anxiety, they do their best to go to a professional if they can’t handle the problems themselves.
MAKE AN ATTEMPT BEFORE THEY ARE READY
Finally, successful students try things before they think they are ready.
If you’re afraid to start doing something new, but you’re not experienced at it, you need to try now, not wait for a better moment
Many students deal with imposter syndrome. They think: Who am I to do this? I don’t have the credentials or the qualifications.
But in many cases, you don’t need to.
For example, as a freshman at university, I wanted to join the Business Council club. The people on it were mostly business school leaders at the university, but they had a rule: the council only accepted people who were sophomores and above; very rarely did they make an exception for freshmen.
Instead of waiting until I was a sophomore, I applied right away. I thought, what’s the worst that could happen? If they turned me down, I could try again next semester.
So I took a drastic step… And I was accepted.
And what’s more, during my first semester as a member, I was also elected to the governing board!
So if something seems challenging and a little intimidating at the same time, give it a try anyway, because that’s what successful students do.