How-To: Be the Ideal Student

Jillian Matthews, Writer

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For many high school students, there can be a lot going on. Between school work, worrying about GPAs, and extracurricular activities, there can be a lot of stress placed on the shoulders of students. Along with that, many people want to obtain the position of being the “perfect” or “ideal” student.

To most, the ideal student is someone who studies and gets good grades. In a survey conducted with 50 Bob Jones students, a majority of students believe that listening, getting good grades, and studying/reviewing material is the makeup of a perfect student, but do teachers agree? “Students who care,” teacher Jessye Gaines answered, “you can care about your school work, you can care about yourself, about your teachers, care about your classmates.” Along with that, she said, “Students who work, and I love having students who are curious, along with having a strong work ethic.”

When asked about the same topic, teacher Robin Dauma replied, “I think students who have a realistic understanding of their strengths and weaknesses (in both academics and study habits) and yet strive to push themselves out of their comfort zone a bit in at least one area during high school are most successful. I personally love to see students show curiosity about the world and how their education changes them and others, rather than students who just are out to complete tasks and do the bare minimum.”

Stanford.edu says that the characteristics of a good student are ones who want experience, not just class. They are collaborative, a team player, and committed to the course, along with being resourceful and cool under pressure. Dr. Hauer, a professor at the University of Southern Mississippi shared some ways to be a better student: “Come to class and pay attention, be prepared in advance for all of your assignments, finish your papers several days early so you’ll have time to revise them, and learn proper test-taking skills.”

But living up to these expectations can be fairly hard as a high school student. Out of 50 students, 30 had after school activities every day, and 14 had extracurriculars a few times a week. So, how does one not only keep up with school work but follow these ideal student guidelines? “Having a good plan for the week, rather than just taking assignments/studying a day at a time, is a good strategy,” Dauma responded. “ Saying no to some things is inevitable, but on the other hand, I personally think it’s crucial that once you make a commitment to a group or organization, you should do everything within your power to keep that commitment.” Gaines said, “It is all about time management. Maturity and time management is the biggest reason that students end up failing out of college, and the same is true for high school.”

Now let’s say that after reading this, you are super inspired to up your student game. How to start? Studying is super important, and following good study procedures is key to understanding the hard material in class. “Find good resources to help you with things that are harder for you,” Mrs. Dauma said when asked about study tips she would recommend. “Whether that’s a study partner, a good book or website with practice questions, or a tutor, don’t stay lost because the problem will probably only get worse.”

Flashcards and Quizlet are super helpful as well. Georgia White, a freshman here at Bob Jones, said, “A good way to study is sitting in a quiet room, make flashcards, and listen to music.” Also, if you find something boring, make it fun! Find ways to make a game out of studying.

Along with those, always making sure that you understand a problem is important. Aston Jah said, “I make sure I know how to actually work the problem (in math) and understand the concept behind a solution or question (in most all other subjects).”

All of these tips can be followed to ensure you are on the clearest path to success!

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