I know how difficult it can be to get back into the flow of things when coming back from a long break, so here are a few habits to start building that may help you as the semester progresses.
Coming up with even a couple of goals for yourself at the start of the semester can encourage you to keep at it and not give up. For example, I have made it a point not to procrastinate on essays this semester - especially semester essays that are meant to be worked on throughout the semester - not in the last week of classes. Perhaps you have set the same goal for yourself, or maybe you make it a point to make at least a B average this semester. Whatever your goals may be, set those and hold yourself accountable throughout the course of the semester.
Having self-discipline is something that everyone should practice - whether a student or not. Hold yourself accountable for using your own willpower in order to get the tasks done that you may not necessarily want to do - without someone else having to tell you over and over to get those things done. Self-discipline is a valuable tool that will continue to help you throughout your life. Start practicing now so it’s not an issue when you have a full-time professional position in the future.
Time management is without a doubt something that you will continue to use throughout your life, especially in the professional world. Imagine that you land the job of your dreams, but quickly become overwhelmed because you have no sense of time management… which inevitably causes you to lose said dream job because you can’t meet deadlines. In order to avoid this type of situation, I highly encourage you to start practicing this type of self-discipline now. College is a great place to start because of all of the various assignment deadlines that college students have every week.
Self-care may not seem like a big deal, especially while you’re still young, but I would actually consider this a large piece of student success. If all you do is eat junk food with no real nutritional value, drink little water (but lots of soda or coffee), and sit around and do assignments or watch Netflix, you’ll eventually find it difficult to source energy for the things you love and the things that you need to do - such as going to work or class. In order to make sure that I practice self care, I go to the gym at least 4 times a week, carry a water bottle with me at all times for hydration, and always make sure to eat at least one fruit or vegetable a day. Most colleges have a gym on campus that you can use for free. I know, there are times (such as finals week), when self-care may become the last thing on your list of priorities, but I highly encourage you to take care of yourself. You will be surprised how much more energized and healthy your body feels, and how much more energy you have to get your responsibilities done.
Success is different for everyone, however, it is important to recognize success when it comes your way. Perhaps you passed that exam that you were overly stressed about. Recognize that and maybe even treat yourself to a night out with friends or even just a night relaxing with popcorn and a movie. While passing an exam may not mean as much to you as something else would, don’t let that good grade go unrecognized! Most importantly, don’t allow yourself to focus more on the negative than your successes in life. Celebrate every accomplishment!
These are some of the best aspects of successful college students. While it can be hard on some days to practice all of these simultaneously, I recommend that every student begin practicing these habits while they are still in school. That way, once they are hired into a professional position, they don’t have to worry about setting these habits because they will already be in place.