Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Secrets of a Straight A Student

So part of the reason I didn't post much last week is because I had a bit of a breakdown when some of my teachers put in zeros for work that I had done or hadn't had time to make up yet, which dropped my grades down to a D and an F.

And when you've always been a straight-A student like me, seeing the letter D, or, heaven forbid, the letter F on your grades is downright terrifying. Dreams of perfect grades and a stellar GPA go flying out the window, you wonder how low your class rank will drop, you wonder what all those colleges who have been pestering you will think of you now.

Thankfully, I did all of the work and my teachers put the grades in, and I'm back to A's. But this just goes to show that it can be really stressful trying to maintain all A's in school, and it can be really scary when something you're used to and take pride in suddenly isn't there anymore.

I'm not calling this post a list of study tips, because it's not. If I'm telling the truth, I don't study as much as people might think I do, and I don't study as much as other people may have to. And that's okay.

I also don't slack off all the time. I don't skip class every day, or sleep through every lesson, or never turn in my homework. That said, I may slack off from time to time. I'll text in class sometimes, or read a book, and yes, I have fallen asleep once or twice. I may get my homework done at the very last minute, but hey, I get it done.

Honestly, I think the biggest secret to doing well in school is knowing what works for you.

I know when I need to be in class, I know when I need to pay attention, I know when I need to review the material at home. I know when I need to ask for help. Knowing how you learn best is much more important than following any sort of list of study rules you can find on the internet.

This kind of goes back to my last lifestyle post as well. Just like being healthy means doing what's best for you, so does being a successful student. And the two can really be linked as well. If you're studying so much that you never have time to have fun and you're completely stressed out about school, that's not good for your brain or your grades.

Unfortunately, keeping good grades really can just boil down to doing the work. Which, I know, is super boring. There's a lot of things I would rather do than my homework. Even just right now, I'm writing a blog post instead of doing my homework. But I know that eventually I will get it done. And yes, there's other things to think about like test scores and essays and projects and all of that, but really, just doing your assignments makes a big difference.

Going along with that, you actually have to be able to find your assignments when they're due. Now, I'm not perfectly organized by any means, but if your backpack looks more like a garbage dump than notes and homework, you might want to clean that up a bit. It won't help to do the assignment if you lose it in a black hole before you can turn it in.

The other big part of maintaining good grades is being motivated to make good grades. If you really just don't care if you barely pass, then you're probably going to barely pass. I know that personally, I'm motivated by my success. When I do well at something (e.g., keeping straight A's this far), then I'm a lot more motivated to keep doing well (e.g., keeping straight A's until I graduate).

That said, there's internal motivators like what I just described, and there's external motivators. These may include money for getting good grades, or getting into the college you want, or getting the job you want, etc, etc, etc. Different people may be motivated by different things, and that's okay too.

I wish I could give you some secret tip that would instantly make you a top student, if you're a student at all. I just wish there was a tip that existed that would do that.

So, in summary, here's a few tips for how I keep my grades up in school.

  1. Know what works best for you. Know how much you need to study, and what ways you need to study. 
  2. Don't stress yourself out. Prolonged stress hurts your performance in school.
  3. Do the work. You can't expect to just pull an A out of a hat, you actually have to earn it by completing your assignments. 
  4. Stay reasonably organized. You don't want to lose papers before you turn them in.
  5. Find what motivates you, and stay motivated to succeed. 
If you're a student (or were), how do you study for school? Do you have any tips for maintaining good grades? Let me know in comments!

1 comment:

  1. Great tips for students of all ages! A lot of this applies to careers too! Organization is always key for me - if I know what is happening when, then I can budget my time! Another great post!