Top Habits of Successful Students

As Semester One looms ahead and students make the transition from summertime vibes to full time study it can be hard to adjust to a busy schedule after weeks of relaxation. Whether a new or returning student, it is a fundamental need in university to have top habits to best maximize your time and become a successful student. I’m going to list 5 top habits below which will aid you on your university journey to becoming successful with your studies.

Habit 1: Find Like-Minded Friends to Collaborate With 

In university communication and collaboration are key to being successful and other students will all be in the same position as you with needing to find people to study with. The old saying, “A friend in need is a friend indeed” could not be more relevant than in a university setting. Having a good friend or two to study with and collaborate on group assignments together can really determine the difference between a pass and fail. Find like-minded friends who actually study and not just show up to class once every three weeks. The dreaded group assignment is something I always hated because the people I worked with would constantly slack off until the last few days and I seemed to be the only one who would get any work done. But after finally linking with students who were as determined as myself, I got an A on my group assignment and it really did come down to having good people to work. Uni is not meant to be a solo journey so go out and find those people in your class. You might even meet your new uni BFF and life-long friend!

Habit 2: Take Advantage of All the University’s Resources Available to You

Being a university student in New Zealand can be an amazing experience thanks to the seemingly limitless support and aid provided to students. Academic support, free goodies, financial assistance and internship opportunities are just some of the resources provided. Unfortunately, though, many students don’t realise what support is available for them to access and miss out on opportunities to assist their time in university. I often encourage my friends in uni to engage with AUT’s student organisation, AUTSA, because they offer great support to students and yet my words often fall on deaf ears. So, don’t be like my friends and seek out your student hub to see what support is available to you. 

Habit 3: Study the Course Material Before Coming to Class

This is something I found to be extremely useful in my first year when I was faced with all these classes teaching things I never learnt in high school. Having a brief glance through the weekly material before coming to your lectures or tutorials will help to reinforce what your lecturer is speaking about. It also gives you a chance to ask the right questions if, even after the lecture, you don’t understand the material. Revising your readings, looking at lecture/tutorial slides and even rereading last week’s content can help prepare you for what’s to come. It’s like playing Jenga, start with one thing and build your knowledge up from there. I guarantee that by doing this that you will be your lecturer’s new favourite student when they ask the class questions and you can answer straight away without hesitation.

Habit 4: Have an Efficient Study Schedule 

Time management and organisation are two skills that not only help in university but when starting your career also. Therefore, putting together an effective schedule for your studying and assignment work will bring all the stress of those three assignments due in the same week to a manageable position. No more crunching multiple academic sources at once during exam week and no more all-nighters to get an assignment in by the next day. I have managed to continue using a study schedule from my first year in university and it has aided me incredibly. So definitely start this habit and watch as the unnecessary stress of uni drop. 

Habit 5: Balance Work with Play 

The stress of university can easily stem its way into other aspects of your life and so it's recommended to balance out all the work with leisure time for yourself. Whether that’s a night out with your friends, binge-watching the new season of your favourite Netflix show or sleeping in till 1 pm. Finding the balance between work and play ensures good mental health and can even help contribute towards a better output with your uni work. It’s easy to burn out after too much work and also easy to become lazy with too much free time. Having a balance between the two will benefit students you in both academic and personal aspects of your life. 

Having a set of top habits helps to enable you not only become successful in your academic field but change your life for the better. I have used all these habits during my time in university and was successful in countless different regards. I recommend trying these methods out for yourself and seeing what benefits you will reap! 


- Taylor Tutawa, NxtStep Content Writer