20 Ways to do School Better: A Guide for Students



1. Don’t be in too much of a rush to grow up.

Enjoy being immature and irresponsible while you can. It’s important to play and have as much childish, innocent fun as you can. Exercising your imagination is as important as exercising your body.

2. It is more important to know how to think than what to think.

Try to learn how to weigh information critically. Basically, this means that you must never fully trust any ‘fact’ until you’re satisfied that it’s true. Also, find out a bit about ‘logical fallacies’ and ‘metacognition’. Don’t believe anything you haven’t thought about. Think. Research. Argue.

3. Try to have at least one unique thought a day.

I call it ‘thought-crafting’. Think of two or more very different things, put them together and try to imagine something new emerging. It’s a bit like creating a Frankenstein’s monster.

4. You won’t know unless you ask. Even if you feel silly doing so.

5. Do not ridicule. Anyone. Ever.

It might be funny at the time. But hurting someone’s feelings can never be justified. Be different: be nice.

6. Be ready to ‘unlearn’ as much as you learn.

Old habits of thinking and preconceived ideas are exceedingly dangerous. They’re what got the world into the state it’s in now.

7. Studying should be revision.

Listen, work and interact in class and most of your studying will already be done. Don’t forget to sort out problem areas as they happen. (You must also do some research into what your special blend of intelligence is, and what learning techniques would work best to keep you focused in class and during revision.)

8. Find out.

No-one has all the answers. Not even teachers. You should always be researching, reading and exploring new and interesting things all the time. If you can, always have Google ready to go, or make a note of the things you want to find out more about.

9. Watch as many good documentaries as you can.

Also follow a few interesting and smart people on Twitter and Facebook. Set up a StumbleUpon account for when you’re bored.

10. Talk to your friends and relatives about things you find interesting.

11. Try to find real-life examples of things you learn in class.

12. Don’t be afraid to get it wrong.

This is the very best way to learn something. Make many mistakes… they’re ideal opportunities to learn and to be creative. Just make sure you learn from your blunders. Making the same mistakes over and over again is just as bad as making none at all.

13. Be confident.

Learn to trust your abilities. Learn to like and to express your own individuality. But don’t be arrogant.

14. Try to form opinions that go beyond ‘I like it’ or ‘I don’t like it.’

In so doing you will learn to appreciate even the things you don’t like.

15. If you are bored, try to find a way to make what you are doing interesting for yourself.

(See number 1 and 3 above.)

16. Try to imbue everything you do with your own unique touch.

17. Get Involved

Try to get into teams and clubs and cultural activities. This is a good way of discovering what you’re good at. You’ll also make friends, and you’ll make memories you’ll never forget.

18. Be nice to your parents

They do care about you.

19. Don’t obsess over marks

You are not your marks. Try your hardest and stay positive. School is a process, and marks are just a snapshot in time. As long as you’re trying your best to improve, and doing all of the other stuff on this list, you’ll make it in the end. Marks are a byproduct of doing all of the things I have mentioned previously. No really, try to achieve everything else on this list, and you’ll be getting good marks as a bonus. Promise!

20. Remember that what you do now may determine the person you are for the rest of your life.

Don’t forget to look me up on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/SeanHCole


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