8 good habits for students to succeed in college

You’re a student, and it’s sometimes hard to stay motivated by your studies? This is why the Amanote team has whipped up a – not exhaustive – list of 8 habits to implement gradually to succeed in your studies!

In fact, it is rather a matter of progress with small steps, because putting in place a whole new routine composed of so many habits cannot be done overnight so that it is sustainable in the long term.

This list is adaptable depending on where you are in your school path– in high school or higher education – because the amount of work to be provided is not the same. However, these habits are applications for all learners!

Find your WHY

In practice, it is a question of determining the driver of your life; here we will rather focus on the «studies» part of your life. Finding your path, and the curriculum that suits you, is an essential phase in your journey! It is very important to review your desires, your motivations, your aspirations, in order to arrange your studies according to your future professional project.

Here are the essential questions to ask yourself to finally answer the question: “Why is it these studies that I choose to do?”:

  • What are your personal motivations? Why did you undertake these studies, in this field, in this school, etc.? Do you want, for example, to work as an independent or for a specific position in a specific field, in a specific company? Do you want to develop your skills in a particular area? This will help define your drivers.
  • What is your reason towards the world? Is there a cause that you wish to defend thanks to the finality of your studies? Is there something in today’s society that you are outraged about, that you would like to change?
  • What is your deepest driver, the one that feeds you and that will not evolve until you finish these studies? It is a guiding line that you want to give to your life, such as being recognized for certain skills or becoming an inspiring personality.

This first step can be a very good motivation and orientation lever.

Set your goals

Now that you know what your ultimate goal is in doing these studies, you have to take actions! Setting short-, medium- and long-term goals is very important. Your only goals should not just be to pass your exams and go into the next year.

Indeed, you can both think bigger and set goals for yourself after your studies, concerning your career, but also cut out this bigger objective of “passing this exam” in sub-objectives. These will allow you to implement a real action plan, to be more precise on how to achieve your goal, but also to reduce the time intervals and increase the moments of success. At the same time, these objectives will also help you to remotivate yourself in case of slack.

Know how to organize yourself

The best habit to put in place to manage your classes while having a social life and a nice student life, is the organization! It starts with different steps, such as storing your computer files or storing your lesson sheets or syllabus.

To find your way around easily if you take a lot of handwritten notes, is to separate the theoretical and practical parts of each course, use color codes (post it, markers, tabs, etc.) to distinguish specific contents: the different courses, course chapters, etc.

What is especially important to be well organized is to have an agenda, whether paper or digital, and to note the highlights of your school year (course schedule, exams, assignments, homework, readings, etc.). Here too, you can easily use color codes!

And of course, the icing on the cake is to make a study schedule! It is therefore necessary to choose the moments that you want to allocate to study, and being as precise as possible: which course you want to work, what you want to work exactly (exercises, podcasts, group work, syntheses, etc.), for how long, how many times per week/month, etc.

Preparing a good schedule will allow you not only to identify the best study moments according to your lifestyle, and therefore to work well; but also to plan your overall schedule, according to your studies. That is to say, it will be much easier for you to plan other things in your schedule, such as when you go to class, do sports, spend time with your loved ones, etc. This schedule will take away all the mental workload and the waste of time of organizational decisions, and you’ll be more focused on your goals.

Find your method and routine

The key is to find YOUR work method and your ideal routine. Indeed, each one is different and you are most likely to know what will work for you. To understand it, you have to test!

For example, you may need to take your notes on computer rather than paper, do weekly and daily TO DO lists to get an overview of what you need to do, change your work environment to stay productive and motivated. Or, you may need moments of hyper concentration and for that you can read our article on the Pomodoro Method, which will help you to be super-productive!

Speaking of working environment, it is crucial for your productivity! It is therefore necessary to put yourself in ideal conditions; that is to say, to have a quiet space, isolated from external solicitations, far from your bed (reserved for relaxation and sleep) and ordered. This will have a direct positive impact on your performance! 

Regarding your work method, we have some recommendations for you:

– If possible, avoid skipping classes! Also, being well positioned in the classroom will allow you to have a good listening attitude and to have an active participation. It will directly foster your apprehension, understanding and memorization of the course material – and it will greatly facilitate your revisions.

– Take notes in a stimulating manner. Use your own method of taking notes, that works (with abbreviations, and mnemonic means for example). Taking notes allow, for sure, to save time and not to have holes in your materials when you study. This is a big part of the work already done to prepare your exams! You’re not using Amanote yet? It’s time to test!

– Identify the most important ideas of the subject, learn the course plan and the important definitions, create synthetic flash cards, try to explain what you have learned to your entourage, etc.

Stick to it

We can never repeat it enough but discipline > motivation. Indeed, the motivation to succeed is not enough! Of course, it will boost you initially, but the whole thing is to stick to it. You must be focused on your goals and not let negative emotions affect your actions, and you must avoid procrastination!

Be well surrounded

Being surrounded by other students in your class is essential. Indeed, at first your classmates can inspire you with their own working methods or good study techniques! Then they can be there to help you understand some parts of the course material or give you their notes when you are away!

In addition, thanks to Amanote, you can create a group with other students and easily share your questions and notes all together!

Have a good lifestyle = balance

This is about finding a life balance that suits you, to have a healthy mind in a healthy body! A healthy lifestyle involves a lot of things: a healthy and balanced diet, regular sports activity or a minimum of movement for your body, a restful sleep, and also time to relax.

For example, you might get into the habit of walking regularly. A short walk between two study sessions will never hurt your body and mind! Sport, meditation, or even small outings with friends are also a very good ways to decompress. It will simply allow you to concentrate more after that.

Manage stress

Like most students, you put a lot of pressure on yourself when you see the exam period coming up?
It is important to learn how to channel this stress, because it can be very harmful at the time of an exam, even if you have studied well!

Also, it can have a real negative impact on your moments of revisions, and your mental health during that time. In other words, to limit the stress of your student status, you just have to follow all the advice above… Not kidding! All this advice will allow you to less apprehend this complicated period, and to start your revision or exam session more serenely.

Sarah Kos


Most popular

Most discussed