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This is How to be Successful in School and Life As a Student (With Free Resources for Success)

Updated: Feb 8

an image of a cup full of coffee on a table, a paper written, "i am the success story" besides it and a pen lying on one end of the paper.
How to be successful in school and life as a student.

To thrive in both academic and life pursuits, you must engage in profound introspection, meticulous examination, careful evaluation, identification of essential resources for success, and ultimately, effective execution. The journey kicks off by posing these five crucial questions to yourself.

  1. What do you want to achieve? Set your sights on your goals, whether they're academic triumphs or financial or personal victories. Define success in your terms.

  2. How do you achieve it? Break down your goals into manageable steps. Don’t focus on the giant leap, but the consistent strides. Take it one day at a time, and you'll get there.

  3. Which resources will help you achieve it? Equip yourself with the right tools: textbooks, mentors, online courses, organizations, and networks. Identify what you need and build your arsenal. Knowledge is power, after all.

  4. Who will help you achieve it? No one succeeds alone. Surround yourself with a support system – teachers, friends, family. Share your dreams, and let them be your cheerleaders in this journey.

  5. When do you plan on achieving it? Time is your ally, not your enemy. Set realistic timelines. Give yourself the gift of patience and perseverance. Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither is success.

In this interactive blog, we will delve into a reflective journey to help you organize your thoughts and create a clear roadmap to help you be successful in school and life. Rather than providing generic advice, I encourage you to grab a pen and paper for engaging exercises that stimulate your brain and lead to actionable strategies.

1. What do I want to achieve?

It all begins with self-reflection, a journey of self-discovery to assess your goals, strengths, weaknesses, passions, and values. It is also resourceful to take a deep dive into the past year, analyze what worked and what didn't, and extract valuable lessons. Consider what you would do differently if given the chance, and identify the individuals who played a pivotal role in enriching your life.

PS -Find a free self-discovery workbook towards the end of this article.


  • Write down one big goal and two smaller goals for this year.

  • Think back to last year and recall one goal you reached and another you didn't, but it's still important for your main goal this year.

  • Quickly note three things that helped with the achieved goal and three things that got in the way.

  • For the goal not achieved, ask yourself: What could you have done differently? And what actions led to the setback?

Keep these notes handy; we'll dive into why they matter later in the article.

2. How Do I Achieve it?

Through your careful examination, compile a helpful cheat sheet containing insights from your own experiences – detailing effective strategies, goal-setting, accomplishments, tactics that proved fruitful, actions to avoid, moments of reflection and adjustments, considerations for well-being and mindfulness, as well as identifying supportive resources.

There is a Free Cheatsheet workbook towards the end of the article.

In the context of this endeavor, let's broadly categorize academic achievement as a subset of overall career success, recognizing that success extends beyond mere grades. While strong academic performance forms the foundation of success, excelling in school involves understanding the material in a real-world context and acquiring skills and experiences applicable to solving practical problems.

PS- Still have that pen and paper? Grab them for this section and let's get to it.

Okay, let's talk about how to succeed in school by getting good grades.

  • First, understand why your Major or subjects matter in the real world: Think of it as bridging the gap between studying and real-world application. Take biology, for instance. Instead of memorizing facts, explore their practical uses in solving real-life problems. Find five examples online to understand the tangible impact. This approach transforms studying from exam-focused to meaningful exploration, connecting your major to its real-world significance. Note this strategy on your cheat sheet: "Connect subjects to real life – find the 'why' behind what I'm learning."

  • Read your notes, understand, and practice, practice, practice. This mantra encapsulates a powerful approach to effective studying. Begin by immersing yourself in your class notes or textbooks. Take it step by step, focusing on small sections rather than overwhelming yourself with information. Once you've read through, shift your focus to understanding the material. It's not just about memorizing: aim to comprehend the underlying concepts.

  • Pay attention in class—it's important. But if the teacher is boring, ask questions to stay awake. It works! Asking questions can snap you out of boredom.

  • Group discussions help too. Find classmates who explain things well and others who liven up the group. Have group talks at least three times a week. Work together to understand things better.

  • Challenge yourself to beat your last grades. If you did not perform well, figure out which topics you struggled with and focus on them. Use help from classmates, study groups, and even watch YouTube videos to improve. Write down your plans on your cheat sheet to keep track.

Have you jotted down those strategies yet? Take a moment to do so if not, Take a moment to do so if you haven't yet. You can draft them now and organize them later.

Succeeding in Life as a student (Excelling beyond grades)

Job ads asking for 3-5 yrs experience, even for entry-level positions, can be frustratingly ironic. What does that tell you? While knowledge and theory provide a solid foundation for success, it's essential to maximize our education by transforming what we learn into practical skills. In light of this let’s jot down these four major points under our goals section in our self-discovery workbook

  1. Aim for at Least 4 Months of Work Experience: Gaining work experience is crucial because it bridges the gap between theory learned in school and practical application in the real world. It's like moving from reading about swimming to actually diving into the pool – you learn by doing. This experience not only enhances your understanding of your field but also makes you more appealing to employers who value hands-on knowledge.

  2. Participate in at least one fun extracurricular activity: Unwinding from academics is not only refreshing but you might be surprised at the amount of massive lucrative opportunities in extracurricular activities. Play sports, have a TikTok page, braid hair for fun, join debate clubs, and wildlife clubs, or have a swimming competition. These activities, done for fun, contribute to your success by teaching important skills like communication, networking, teamwork, leadership, creativity, and overall personal development, making you stand out not just as a student but as an individual with diverse skills and interests

  3. Develop a high-income skill: High-income skills, like digital marketing and financial literacy, significantly boost entrepreneurial success. In job hunting, these skills act as golden tickets, making you a sought-after candidate by adding tangible value to companies beyond theoretical knowledge.

  4. Plan on making at least $1000 this year: Making money might not be the first thing on your mind when you think about academics and extracurriculars. However, planning to earn at least $1000 pushes you to apply financial literacy in real-life situations. Whether it's through internships, part-time jobs, or entrepreneurial ventures, this financial goal encourages you to explore various avenues of income. It's a practical way to measure the tangible outcomes of your efforts, providing a sense of accomplishment and financial independence, even during your student years.

How is that list looking? Have you jotted down these goals?

3. Which resources will help me achieve this goal

  1. Self-discovery workbook

  2. Personalized cheat sheet

  3. Tutorial-focused YouTube channels

  4. Participation in extracurricular activities

  5. Student resource compilation for excelling in exams and student life

  6. Free and paid skill-learning courses on platforms like Coursera, Udemy, or YouTube

  7. Websites offering opportunities for youth, including internships, grants, and resources for skill development, work experience, or earning money

  8. Library Resources: Books, journals, and other materials available at your school or local library

  9. Networking Events: Attend events or workshops related to your field of study

  10. Mentorship Programs: Seek out mentorship opportunities for guidance from experienced individuals

  11. Online Forums and Communities: Engage in online forums or communities related to your area of interest

  12. Podcasts: Explore educational and financial literacy podcasts eg My First Million Podcast.

  13. Industry Conferences: Attend conferences and events specific to your field

  14. Online Learning Platforms (Khan Academy, edX): Explore additional online learning platforms for various educational resources

  15. Career Counseling Services: Utilize career counseling services offered by your school

  16. Professional Associations: Join professional associations related to your field for access to industry-specific resources, events, and networking opportunities

  17. Research Opportunities: Explore research opportunities within your academic department or through external organizations

4. Who will help me achieve it?

  1. Role Model: Emulate their positive habits and strategies for achieving success.

  2. Mentorship: Benefit from personalized advice and valuable insights for informed decision-making.

  3. Diverse Friends: Learn from their strengths and experiences to broaden your perspective.

  4. Youth Organizations: Access resources, networking opportunities, and support for enhanced growth.

  5. Supportive Circle: Gain encouragement, motivation, and a sense of accountability.

  6. Industry Professionals: Attend events, webinars, or networking sessions for real-world insights.

5. When do I Plan on achieving it?

Aim to attain significant improvements in both your academic performance and overall life within the current year. Conduct regular monthly, quarterly, and annual assessments to monitor your progress, identifying successful strategies and areas for improvement.

As you've reached the end of this article and completed the brief exercise, you're now on the path to success in both school and life. I hope you've found the resources, including the Cheatsheet Workbook, Self-Discovery Workbook, and Student Resource List, valuable in your journey.

While these resources are provided for free, I invite you to consider supporting the maintenance of this website. Your small donation can go a long way in keeping this platform running smoothly and expanding our initiatives. I'm also excited to share that we're planning to establish a fund for students, utilizing contributions to help fund dreams, cover tuition fees, and support entrepreneurial ventures. Your generosity can make a significant impact.

Congratulations once again on your progress. Your success journey is uniquely yours, and armed with self-discovery, goals, and past lessons, you're well-equipped for both academic triumphs and life victories. Cultivate your support system, set realistic timelines, and keep refining your roadmap.

If you found this article helpful, consider sharing it with a friend who might also benefit. Moreover, becoming a member ensures you receive exclusive content, updates, and additional tips for your journey. Let's continue growing together! Thank you for your support.


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