It’s back to school time. And whether you’re an incoming freshman with butterflies in your stomach or a seasoned senior with nothing but coffee and ramen in yours, every student’s goal is the same: to achieve academic success.
But there are a lot of misconceptions about making the honor roll or dean’s list that can turn students off from the idea, making them think it’s not really worth it.
So let’s sort out some of the common myths from the truths when it comes to having an elite semester.
You have to sacrifice.
True. The extra effort you put into making the honor roll has to come from somewhere. But with the right approach, it is possible to sacrifice things you won’t even end up missing. The key is constant planning and organizing to allow yourself to keep a relatively normal sleep schedule, eating schedule, and fitness regimen, while cutting out less important activities like watching TV on weekdays.
Like any goal, you have to tell it to someone.
False. Unlike common New Year’s resolutions like losing weight or quitting smoking, telling someone close to you your goal is not necessary. Instead, keeping your goal to yourself can help you avoid putting excess pressure on yourself and, more importantly, will keep you in the hunt for personal reasons rather than someone else’s.
People who make the honor roll enjoy studying.
True. And make no mistake about it, it’s completely deliberate that they do. The students who do the best in classes usually chose that class or major for that exact reason: they enjoy it. Pick classes you’re interested in, project topics you enjoy, and, at the very least, try to spin subjects into a way that fits into your interests and aspirations.
All your time is spent alone.
False. In fact, studying alone all the time is the fastest way to make yourself go crazy and not want to press on. Study groups, office hours, and a rotating set of coffee shops or libraries are all terrific ways to keep your study sessions fresh. Also, having someone to talk to about what you’re learning in a more social setting can help you stay engaged.
You need to have been doing it all your life.
False. Reaching your academic goals requires that you’re not afraid to fail, even if it requires putting yourself out there like you haven’t before. Getting in this mindset allows you put your best effort forward on a day-to-day basis, and ensures that you can be proud of yourself no matter what the outcome is.
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