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5 Things Every Student Should Do

1. Find Your Passions

High school isn’t just a time to prove your intellect and capability of tackling college level work. You should also think of it as a unique opportunity to figure out what makes you tick. Students who can identify their passions and pursue them are more engaged and motivated to succeed. Experiment with different extracurriculars and pursue the activities that truly interest and fascinate you. You can’t fake passion and your authentic motivation to pursue these activities will shine through and could even lead to a future college major or career.

2. Build and Use a Support Network

You might think that juggling all this by yourself is the marker of true strength and independence, but successful students are those who know how to use the resources available. Build strong relationships with teachers and peers, establish connections with learning resources like the writer’s center or study hall teachers, and connect with mentors to ensure that you have a support system in place, even if you never use it.

3. Be Active Outside the Classroom

Successful high school students don’t disappear outside the walls of their classroom. They are also engaged members of their community. Get involved with issues that impact your student experience. Educate yourself about the issues facing your community and learn to use your voice productively so that people will listen to your ideas.

4. Master Time Management

In order to optimize your performance across multiple aspects of your life, you’ll need to develop strong time management skills. This means making and sticking to study schedules, developing systems of organization that work well for you, and learning the art of multitasking.

5. Every day, students should ask more questions than they answer.

Why should students ask more questions than they answer? Of course, quantity isn’t the point. But merely insisting on quality isn’t enough, either. More than anything else, a student’s tendency to consistently ask more–and better–questions is an indicator of not only ‘student engagement,’ but of curiosity, ownership, autonomy, and hope. (Imagine a student with no confidence or hope consistently asking great questions. It’s unlikely.)
One Strategy: How can you help students ask more questions than they answer? Start small. Maybe they can simply improve their questions–start with a question and make it better.

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