How Can I Be Successful at School?

How can you set yourself up to have an outstanding year here at Salesian College, Chadstone? Here are some helpful tips. If you are able to keep working on each of these each day, then it is inevitable you will be happy and successful.

1. Develop and sustain good relationships

Be a good friend and take time to get to know better those people in your life: your parents, teachers, friends, classmates and others you meet. One of the ways of ensuring that you have a great year is to set out to have as many positive friendships this year as you can and keep working on them daily. These are the people who will support you to meet your goals.

2. Realise that you are smarter and more talented than even you know.

You are smarter and more talented than you know but you can only show that if you believe it and work hard. Brain research tells us that we only use a fraction of our capacity – we actually hold ourselves back.

If you can stay positive and focus on what you can do, rather than what could go wrong you are on the right track. Aim to develop at least one positive aspect of yourself this year. Set yourself goals and go for it.

3. Know that we all make mistakes

The greatest achievers mostly made more mistakes but learned from them and tried again. Don’t let your failures or mistakes haunt you. Let them be a motivation and a set of signposts on the way to improvement.

4. Be ready for learning

In order to achieve your learning goals this year you must be prepared to give effort consistently. You need to be willing to give up some of the easy options and concentrate, persevere and work with others. It is often easier to say it’s too hard. Be hard on yourself sometimes and say “I will do this!”

5. Set a good sleep routine

Sleep helps you to be healthy in mind and body. The best way to protect yourself from being stressed or down is to get enough sleep. You need at least 8 hours a a night. Be fair with yourself to ensure that you allow your body and mind to rest.

6. Don’t wait until later

Get into the habit of being effective. It is easy to leave the hard tasks until the last minute and then not do a good job. Identify what things need doing first and then get straight to them – especially if they are not your favourite!

7. Use class time well

The time in class and teacher instructions are critical in improving your results. The teachers want you to do well and so they will be setting tasks and explaining things in class to help you learn. Don’t waste a second in class. Get as much as you can from the learning time and then review it at home too to maximise your understanding. If you don’t get it just ask. Your teacher will help.

8. Incremental improvement

Doing a little bit each day is better for learning than trying to cram everything in one go before a test. Each day do some work for every subject is best. At leaset set a plan of homework and revision that allows regular times for your brain to learn things over again. Even geniuses don’t get everything the first time they hear it, usually we need to ponder ideas before we can really understand.

9. Focus and immerse yourself

Don’t try and study with your ipod, phone, TV etc. It just doesn’t help. Give your mind the space to really concentrate and learn well. Set up your study space for yourself. You deserve it.

10. Don’t worry about the marks

Too many students worry about their score on the test or the end of year mark. The important question to ask is: Do I understand? If the answer to that question is a resounding “YES!” Then the marks will take care of themselves. If the answer is “not yet” or “I’m not sure” then you have more questions to ask or more work to do.

11. Ask questions

Look for the interesting, unusual and quirky things in life and in your learning. Always ask yourself, your classmates and your teachers good questions. What if….? How does that…..? What would happen if….? Q Why does….?

Then try and find out!

12. Be active

The benefits of exercise for blood flow, concentration and learning are undisputed. Get outside regularly and play with your friends and family. That will give you the best balance for learning and it will help develop friendships too.

13. See the joy in life

Be happy. See how lucky you are in your current situation. It may not be perfect but if we wait for perfection we will be still waiting a long time. Make the best of your situation and enjoy life.

If you can be consistent with trying these ideas each day you will be happier and more successful! Good luck and know that there are lots of people willing and able to help you. You are not alone.