5 Effective Habits of Successful Students

The spring semester has begun and so have the bad habits from last semester! With building these habits, it can create a smoother semester than the last.

  1. 1. Be (and STAY) Organized

    Silver macbook by planner and flowers

    The most important part of a new semester is keeping track of your semester. The two options available are an online or physical planner. An online planner can be a more visual version with the option to create notifications. While a physical planner can be a classic preference for many. I personally choose to have both. In the first week of classes, I always print off all my syllabi and write down all the due dates in my planner and put exams into my online calendar. I create notifications for two weeks ahead. This gives me a proper reminder to start a study schedule and to prevent cramming. 

    Every semester, it is crucial to reduce your digital clutter. I personally do a deep clean out of my emails and computer files. With emails, sort through the old class ones. I typically save the online files but put them in a folder to sort them by semesters and then by years as well. 


  2. 2. Stay Engaged in Class

    people sitting in chairs and taking notes

    This can be difficult to do in those large lecture halls, but it is important to stay engaged in class. Two ways I do this is by participating in class and creating friendships. 

    Most professors give opportunities to talk in lecture halls. While it can be intimidating, raising your hand in class can be a great way to keep yourself engaged and to begin communicating with your professor. Something that can be great to try is asking questions. Typically, others will have the same questions as you.

    Something I like to do is sit by someone who you think would make a great class friend! By doing this, it can be more encouraging to show up to class. When you HAVE to miss class, it is ideal for sharing notes. Also, being social in class never hurts!

  3. 3. Have Designated Study Spaces

    women on phone and laptop

    When I spend too much time at my apartment, I tend to get very distracted. There’s always something to do whether that be washing dishes or frequently snacking. I find that setting time aside to do school work every night at a specific location can be the best way to go. 

    I tend to do this particularly when I am studying for exams. That way, when I get back to my apartment, I can easily shake the stressed feelings that I had while studying. 

    My ideal location is a study room in the location in which you live. I know when I was a freshman, I loved utilizing the study spaces in my dorm. This was a priority I had when choosing my apartment complex when I moved off-campus. 


  4. 4. Utilize Resources

    two women having an interview

    At college, there are many resources. With schoolwork, there are office hours, writing centers, TA’s expertise and tutoring. 

    Some of those resources you are already paying for in your segregated fees. For example, in most cases, university health clinics are covered by segregated fees. When you’re feeling more than just stressed out, I would consider looking into talking to a mental health expert because they can be very helpful!


  5. 5. Participate in Extracurriculars

    Latte Art

    I found the best tip for getting adjusted to a new semester and a new college was getting an on-campus job! It may seem like it would take up too much of your time, but I found myself getting more done in shorter periods of time because of my less free time. Then, an obvious one is to join new clubs! I joined Her Campus and realized my love of journalism and changed my whole major because of it. Along with that, it creates great networking and friendship opportunities.


A new semester can be daunting and anxiety-inducing. However, by building good habits, it can create a great semester!