Five Tips For a Super You! Making the Grade Outside the Classroom
Okay, because you’re reading a magazine about preparing for college, we can probably assume you know how to be successful in the classroom, right? You may have good study habits, but do you have the skills it takes to be a great friend, family member, employee and future college student? Read on for five tips to help you be successful whenever you step outside that classroom door.
1. Listening 101
Courses in high school and college will teach you how to speak well but did you know that listening well is just as if not more important? Kory Floyd professor of health and family communication at Arizona State University says “Keep in mind that you have two ears but only one mouth … Listening carefully when others speak helps you understand them better and it demonstrates to them that you care about what they’re saying.” A few ways to practice listening: don’t interrupt and if you’re not sure what was said restate the speaker’s words back to him or her to make sure you understood. You will be amazed at how much you can learn by not speaking!
2. Ask For Help
We all need help sometimes whether it’s with school relationships mistakes we’ve made or big decisions about the future. Parents guidance counselors trusted teachers mentors or friends are all great people to ask for help or advice. Pete a senior at Iowa State University says “Through high school it was hard to ask for help. At 16 years old I was close to knowing everything there was. Five years later I’ve realized I only know a liver. I’ve been lucky that my parents have always been supportive of me. Because of this they are the two people that I turn to for help.” You will have to ask for help many times in your life — from your family your friends your professors or even your future co-workers or boss. Get in the habit of asking for help now and you will have no trouble finding it in the future!
3. Think About Others
You probably have a group of friends you regularly hang out with but what about all those other people out there? Get to know someone new! If you’re an athlete get to know a musician. If you’re a great student help out someone who’s struggling. Befriend an exchange student and learn about his or her home country! and culture. Feeling adventurous? Meet some children by babysitting or senior citizens by volunteering at a nursing home. You’ll be amazed at how much you can learn from people who aren’t like you! And while you’re making all these new friends please remember to be kind. Sarah Michelle Gellar Sir Anthony Hopkins Nicole Kidman Cameron Diaz Jerry Seinfeld and many other celebrities were teased in school. Would you want to be known as the person who tormented one of them? ’nuff said.
4. Be The Same Person Online And Offline
Ben Jones associate director of admissions and “communications guy” at MIT says “Students should absolutely represent themselves honestly and transparently in any context that they submit for consideration as part of a college application such as a personal website blog etc.” This advice also applies to any scholarship or future job applications. Be honest about who you are and what you can do! Of course always be very careful about the personal information you choose to make public.
5. Stay Healthy
Stay mentally healthy — if you’re stressed get enough sleep and find someone you trust to talk to. Stay physically healthy — exercise and eat right. And stay emotionally healthy. You will have more freedoms in the years to come — your parents will not always be there — so make careful wise decisions about relationships and the activities in which you choose to participate.
Practice these five good habits now and you’ll be “making the grade” every time you step outside the classroom!