The Study Dude—Six Tips to Succeed with Your Degree

Your education can take one year, four years, or more than a decade of your life.  And the career that follows can last your entire life.  So you want to get it right.

The book 51 Tips and Tricks to Help You Succeed in College by Tevis Sherfield and Tyler Sherfield shows how.  Their following six tips will help launch you on the right path:

Tip one: emphasize others.  When you pursue an education to benefit others, everyone gains.  On an individual level, I believe that when we pursue our degrees out of a desire to help others, we tend to feel less lonely, more fulfilled, and more motivated.  Others matter when it comes to making meaning.  Authors Tevis and Tyler Shefield say to “prioritize relationships with God and people in everything you do.  Whether in school or in any stage of life, relationships MUST be the driving focus of your life.  When you make building relationships with God and others the focus for why you are in school, you gain a deep sense of fulfillment that no amount of test scores can give” (91%).

Tip two: focus on interests.  Relationships matter, but so do your interests.  The ultimate degree taps into your interests while offering a financially stable career path.  The business school tends to give students an edge finding work, according to job descriptions on  But authors Tevis and Tyler Shefield advise you “to choose your major based on what you like to do, not on what you think will make you money.  Doing the things you like will create a more positive attitude, more motivation, and in turn will lead to making more money anyway” (32%).  But if your interests also make you money, you’ve got double the glory.

Tip three: switch majors if needed.  Some students take a year off to figure out what degree to pursue.  It’s wise for these students to take career tests and interests tests online, even ones with fees.  But even after deciding on a career path, “don’t be afraid to change your major.  According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 80% of all college students change their major at least once.  It’s better to spend a semester or two finding out what you want to do than spending a lifetime doing what you hate to do” (75%).

Tip four: get Dropbox.  Every student can benefit from a cloud-based storage system.  “Dropbox is an online storage system.  By saving your work to Dropbox, you will have access to your files anywhere you have internet access, even if it’s on someone else’s device” (90%).  Have you ever had your computer die the day before a paper comes due?  Or have you ever packed your term paper in your backpack, the night before the due date, checking your bag three times, only to find the term paper missing the next day?  Dropbox prevents these scenarios from snatching away the A grade you deserve.  If you don’t like Dropbox, check out some of the other cloud based storage systems like Google drive or Onedrive.

Tip five: buy chalkboard paint.  Another way to boost your grades involves your wall, but pays off beautifully.  “Paint an entire wall in your apartment or house with chalkboard paint.  (if your landlord allows painting).  Then write your notes, math and physics problems, or whatever you want all over the wall.  It’s fun, it increases your contact because you see it everyday, and when people come over it will make you look like a genius!” (47%).  Certain chalkboard paint can be applied to wood, metal, masonry, drywall, plaster, glass, concrete, and more.

Tip six: use Khan Academy.  If you are chasing a science or math degree, you can benefit from free online tutorials.  The Sherfields recommend to “Use Khan Academy.  I found this my second year in college, and it was a life saver.  This is an online source of educational videos that do an AMAZING job at explaining things.  I can’t believe they still offer this stuff for FREE! Check it out at” (46%).  Khan Academy offers polished and professional instruction that help students excel.

Clearly, your education paves your future.  Find out what you love in order to help whom you love.  And hope whom you love likes chalkboard walls.


Sherfield, Tevis, & Sherfield, Tyler.  (n.d.).  51 Tips and Tricks to Help You Succeed in College.  E-book.

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