If you could wave a magic wand, what would your ideal school life look like? Whatever “magic wand” ideas you can imagine, they’re all attainable. You have no limits to what you can achieve, and you’ve got what it takes to bring your academic dreams to fruition. So, let me wave my magic wand and state I would like a PhD!
But wait! I’ve got to take action to make my magic wand work—like maybe first enrolling in a PhD program. I think you probably need to be an ideal student for an ideal school life.
But how am I supposed to do that? Here’s my ideas:
Ideal students would ask lots of questions whenever there are moments of confusion or doubt.
Ideal students would focus exclusively on studies by withdrawing from any superfluous or irrelevant tasks. Many don’t buy cable TV.
They sit in the first row, participate extensively in in-class or online discussions, are always punctual, and never miss a lecture.
They maybe even turn down visits with friends and family in favor of advancing their studies.
Ideal students are thorough and never skip a question. In fact, they’ll redo the same question at least three times until those questions are natural to solve.
Ideal students probably exercise and eat healthy, unprocessed foods.
They should build bonds with their professors by being upbeat keeners in class or in online forums.
I expect they mark their calendars for deadlines, break tasks into steps, watch their calendars like a hawk, and add buffer time before deadlines.
An ideal students would always start their research for essays the day the essays are assigned.
Nine days to three weeks in advance of the exam date, ideally three weeks, an ideal student would start their studying.
They obviously don’t consume toxins. Toxins lower performance levels and divert money and time away from academics.
Ideal students strive to win academic awards and scholarships and probably to get into graduate school. They take time to fill out scholarship applications.
I expect ideal students have a strict daily and weekly study routine that they stick to almost religiously.
Ideal students ask profs and TA’s what to focus on for upcoming exams.
They might have a tutor or study coach available to call should they get stuck on a problem.
Ideal students take extensive notes and skim chapter headings and bolded terms before reading chapters.
They tend to have a desk and a desk light, and the extreme keeners may have a corkboard or even a white board or a wall wallpapered as a chalkboard. (The chalkboard wallpapers look amazing).
An ideal student would research their potential proffessor’s ratings and only opt for the very best instructors. They also register for the top-notch instructors’ classes the very moment registration becomes available.
Ideal students read a chapter from each textbook prior to the class start date, often inquiring with the prof what the first chapter or two might be.
Ideal students only pick classes in mathematics and sciences that have textbooks with fully worked out solution manuals. If they opt for a class without a fully worked out solution manual, they buy a solution manual as supplementary reading.
Ideal students learn how to write well from studying books on academic writing.
Ideal students work long, hard hours. There’s a lot of work that goes into making a magic wand.
And once that magic wand is waved, go with 100% conviction down that path of success. As Jack Canfield says, 100% effort is easier than 99%.