What it takes to be an above-average student
Published: Monday, March 4, 2013
Updated: Monday, March 4, 2013 01:03
What does it mean to be a good student? I find myself realizing that the definition of a good student in my eyes is not reflected in my peers’ eyes. Perhaps it’s because I’m a little older than my peers, even though they typically have no idea, but truth is I’m 27, and I’ve had my fair share of first tries at college and what it means to be a good student. Granted it took me about five or six years to master the concept, and sometimes I still struggle, but I have a much better idea than when I started my first attempts at college in 2003.
After being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I stopped taking twelve and fifteen hours worth of classes and dropped down to about nine or ten per semester. I seemed to be able to handle the work load of just under full times hours. But this semester after much more success I decided to take on twelve credit hours. I admit it’s been tough, but so far I’ve yet to come across a major failure.
Last semester, there were a couple of guys in my biology class who were disruptive in some way, every time we met for about the first two straight months. Everyone in the class disliked them, all we wanted to do was learn that day’s lesson, and go on about our day, but these guys just had to draw attention away from the lesson onto themselves every day. One day they brought a friend who was not even enrolled in our class. When the professor told these guys for the third time to be quiet their friend flipped the teacher off, at which point I couldn’t keep quiet. Needless to say between my confrontation with this friend and a visit to judicial affairs for the two young men who were enrolled in the class, we did not have much of a problem after that day.
This semester I came across a peer in one of my classes who was quite proud of her 63 grade on our first test, stating that this was a perfectly normal grade for her, and that she was pleased with it considering she hadn’t studied. Now mind you I made an 89 on the exact same test, and had you asked me I would’ve said I didn’t really study. I mean I did read every word of those 3 chapters we had covered and made very extensive notes, but I didn’t get around to reviewing my notes, which to me would’ve been studying. Since the first test my peer has made comments that she’s going to study with me next time, which I will not be allowing.
Going to class and simply being present isn’t good enough anymore, buying the book but never reading it isn’t a successful strategy, even asking questions in class and later being unable to successful use that information is not successful anymore. A good student puts in their hardest efforts and pours passion and motivation into their work. Sure you can get by on less effort, but have you learned anything, have you really accomplished the goal of earning your education? I don’t feel that barely there is good enough anymore. Actively engaging and having passion towards learning is the perfect student.
You don’t need to ask a million questions or study all hours of the night, moderation and dedication and a well-structured schedule will get you very far in life.
Joshlynn Wallace is a senior journalism major and a contributing writer for The Pine Log.