December 30, 2019
Whether you are a brand new student or you’ve been around for a few semesters, starting something new — like education — can be intimidating. But you can do it! Here are five tips to help you be successful this semester!
Tip 1: Manage your time
Do you know the feeling of staying up late, rushing to get an assignment done, and turning it in at the last minute? Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day, but how we choose to use that time determines our success.
Studies show that when people manage their time effectively, they experience lower levels of anxiety and perform better academically.1 You can manage your time more effectively by organizing important academic dates and deadlines into a calendar and prioritizing the assignments that require more time. As President Spencer W. Kimball said, “Wise time management is really the wise management of ourselves.”2
Tip 2: Stay accountable
Researchers have found that when you make a routine appointment to report to someone else, your likelihood of success skyrockets by up to 95%.3 The trick is deciding to become accountable even when you don’t necessarily have to. So, when it comes to your academic progress, decide to report on how you’re doing to a friend, family member, classmate, or the Lord. Tell them what your goals are and then routinely check in with them. Doing so can improve your performance!
Tip 3: Live a well-balanced life
Education can require a lot of hours out of your day, but it’s important to keep a proper balance in life. Prioritize your mental, physical, social, and spiritual nourishment. Take breaks between assignments, find something that you enjoy doing, and allow your mind time to relax. Make sure to get 7–9 hours of sleep each night, exercise regularly, and eat a well-balanced diet. Arrange time to focus on being with family and friends. Set a specific time each day to pray, study the scriptures, attend the temple, and so on. Scheduling out your day with a variety of balanced activities not only will help you be more productive but will keep you feeling healthy and happy.
Tip 4: Ask questions
When you don’t understand a concept, it’s okay to ask questions! You could ask your instructor or a mentor, classmate, or friend. Search for information from reliable internet sources and helpful books. Asking questions can help you get more out of your education and your classes will become more interesting and impactful! Above all, ask for direction from the Holy Ghost. We are promised that as we ask God in faith, we shall receive.4
Tip 5: Actively participate
Actively participate in your education by taking advantage of all the resources and opportunities available to you. Get involved by participating in group discussions, attending your gatherings (for PathwayConnect students), meeting up with other local students, participating in monthly devotionals, and reading BYU-Pathway blog articles and university emails. You will feel more connected and get more out of your education as you do.
As Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, “Happiness is the destination, but it’s also the path.”5 So, as you pursue higher education, remember to find joy in these additional opportunities to learn.