What does it take to do well at the U? You might be surprised…Only 5 of the qualities below are attributes most common among successful college students. Can you guess which ones?
- Good memory
- Future/goal oriented
- Works well under pressure
- Good listener
- Need little sleep
- Able to self-regulate
- Physically fit
- Sense of humor
- Sense of gratitude
- Zest for learning
- Passionate beliefs
- Not afraid to fail
- Able to work hard
Although many of these characteristics are valuable, the five qualities below appear to be the most important for student success.
Check your answers. Are you…
A curious person finds many things interesting and wants to explore and better understand them. They are typically eager to learn and usually easy to teach. Students who are not curious may find General Education courses or other required courses irrelevant or boring.
Self-directed and motivated by a sense of purpose, students who are goal oriented have a reason for attending college. They usually have a plan which gives them structure and a step-by-step process to achieve their goals. Students without goals may lack direction or may benefit from a year of exploration. Those with social goals, but not academic, would benefit from balancing their social life with academic goals.
Passionate about Learning
The energy to excel in college often comes from an enthusiasm for learning or a passion to follow a particular path. Necessary to succeed in college, this is definitely a powerful motivating force. If a student isn’t excited about their major or a class they are taking, it’s time to make some changes.
This self-discipline may be one of the most valuable qualities in predicting academic success. Those who have the ability to self-regulate are able to delay gratification and dramatically reduce procrastination. Even if self-regulation isn’t your strong suit, it can be taught and mastered with practice.
Sense of Gratitude
Students who have a sense of gratitude appreciate the opportunity to attend college and often work harder as a result. Those without appreciation may not value learning and could miss out on the many on-campus opportunities. Cultivate gratitude: Consider the advantages of a college experience versus the alternative.
Five Characteristics of Successful Students adapted from a presentation made by Eileen Hulme and Karin Klinger at the First-Year Experience Conference, February 2010, Denver Colorado.