As you already know, it’s that time again when both young and even old get a finger on the snooze button to wake up for school. Many college students worldwide have to admit that they would not be able to effectively tell someone how to succeed in a semester. Many would simply say, “all you have to do is go home and study.” But the key to doing well in college isn’t just that. There’s just a little more to it.
There are many ways a student can ensure success this semester. However you like it, simply studying and turning in assignments is actually easier said than done. Why is that? It is mainly because a student cannot just rely on motivational words. The student actually has to ask a simple, but interesting question: How do I do better in school?
Many college students may brag about the above question and claim that they don’t need to do any better. The truth is there’s always room for improvement. Nevertheless, there are many who feel that school is actually a cause of anxiety for them. They may feel like the following illustration: Imagine that you’re trapped in a dense, dark jungle. Virtually all sunlight is blocked by the lush canopy overhead. Surrounded by thick vegetation, you can barely move. To escape, you must cut your way through with a machete.
Some would say that the experience of school is similar to the scene described above. After all, you are trapped all day in the classroom and hemmed in at night by hours of homework. Is that how you feel? In order to clear a path through a jungle, you need tools. The same applies for school. What are these tools?
Tool 1: In order to succeed and plow through this semester, you will need a healthy attitude toward learning. However you try, it will always be hard to be motivated to do well in school if you have a negative view of learning. Interestingly, many students around campus have sought out wise quotations from books that did not quite motivate or change their attitude of learning. On the other hand, however, many students are actually finding insight from The Bible. Why did they choose that book? The bible has actually proven to be a book that holds tons of timely and wise counsel that is always practical for today. Notice a passage taken from the bible: “The man who plows ought to plow in hope and the man who threshes ought to do so in hope of being a partaker.” (1 Corinthians 9:10)
Seeing the value of “plowing” through certain subjects and classes may not be easy. Why is that? It is because not everything in your curriculum may seem relevant, at least not now. Still, an education in a variety of subjects will enrich your understanding of the world around you. It will help you to “become all things to people of all sorts,” giving you the ability to talk to people of various backgrounds. (1 Corinthians 9:22)
Tool 2: In order to achieve academic success, you will also need a positive view of your abilities. Many students may have noticed that school can reveal their hidden talents. The talents and abilities of people don’t just randomly show up coincidentally. It actually originates from someone. Notice more wisdom from the Bible: “Stir up like a fire the gift of God which is in you.” (2 Timothy 1:6) A young man named Timothy had been chosen to take care of duties and services. In order to do this, however, his God-given ability, his “gift,” needed to be cultivated so that it would not go to waste. It’s worthy to take note that your scholastic abilities are not directly bestowed upon you by God. Nevertheless, the abilities you possess are truly unique to you and school can help you to discover and nurture abilities that you never knew you had.
It’s very important not to set yourself up for a disaster by thinking that you are simply not capable of improving or succeeding. This is the attitude of many students. When having negative thoughts about your abilities, replace them with positive thoughts. An example of this is in that book of wisdom, the Bible. A man named Paul was criticized by people about his speaking ability. He replied: “Even if I am unskilled in speech, I certainly am not in knowledge.” (2 Corinthians 10:10; 11:6) This man, Paul, was aware of his weaknesses, but he also knew his strengths.
Tool 3: If you want to succeed this semester, then you must have good study habits. Many students have come to the unfortunate realization that there are no shortcuts to success at school. Sooner or later, you have to study. Yes, that word might have an unpleasant ring to it. However, studying is a wise decision that will do nothing but benefit you. With a little effort, you may find it enjoyable.
In order to cultivate good study habits, you will definitely need to organize your time. English major Marc at the Essex campus says, “It is important to manage your time well. I know it can sometimes be a hassle to do so, but if you don’t, you easily fall behind in class.” Remember while in school that studying should be a priority. True, the Bible says that there is “a time to laugh” and “a time to skip about.” So, like most young people and even old, you probably want to leave some room for recreation. However, Ecclesiastes 11:4 warns: “He that is watching the wind will not sow seed; and he that is looking at the clouds will not reap.” So, what is the lesson? Study first, play and socialize second. Don’t worry- you can find time for both!
Now, think of the illustration presented earlier. Trapped in a dense jungle, you would need the proper tools to clear a path. The same is true with every semester in school. Rather than feel overwhelmed by the demands of your parents and professors, use the three tools to plow your way through this semester and make a success of school.
by Rashad Smith
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