6 Tips for Students to be Successful this School Year

Sparrow Team
Sparrow Team

This is the official Sparrow account.

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Daniel Kahn
Daniel Kahn
Daniel is the co-founder and COO at Sparrow. Daniel is responsible for the day-to-day operations of a company, working closely with other members of the executive team to develop and implement strategies to support the growth and success of the company.
Daniel was a 2023 Forbes 30 Under 30 lister in the Education category.  Daniel was born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina and graduated from Duke University in 2020.
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Camden Ford
Camden Ford

Camden leads Sparrow’s business operations – everything from product management to business analytics. After graduating Cum Laude from Duke University where he studied Civil Engineering, Camden worked as a Consultant for A.T. Kearney where he worked in their Strategic Operations practice. With a strong background in analytics, Camden strives to deliver data-driven conclusions and insights.

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November 10, 2023

Your academic life is so important. The key to being successful this school year is staying on top of your
studies and taking care of yourself. Below, we collected six simple, accessible tips that can positively
impact your studies.

Step 1: Set the Scene

A great first step toward academic success is ensuring you have a place to make success happen. A
clean, organized space for your study sessions is vital to your focus. This could be a dorm desk or a
favorite study spot on campus. If your space is feeling too cluttered – try working at a coffee shop
instead. On a budget? Local libraries often have plenty of open tables, and you can make yourself coffee
at home!
Once you get settled in a place you can focus, it’s time to find your best learning style. Consider the
different ways you’ve studied in the past and figure out what works for you. You can try taking notes
over what you’ve read, creating flashcards from index cards or using a digital tool such as Quizlet.

Step 2: No Cramming

You may have days where your to-do list seems impossible. Remember that trying to accomplish
everything the day before can do more harm than good. Be sure to fill out your planner with
assignments as soon as you know of them. This will give you the opportunity to work on upcoming
assignments before they’re due. By breaking down manageable daily tasks instead of cramming it all
into one all-nighter. This way you’ll not sacrifice your sleep and avoid burn out.

Step 3: Try Body Doubling

If you need some accountability — try the body doubling technique! Body doubling is the idea that you
can be more productive with a friend or mentor who is also working on a project. This technique can
also work for self-care tasks such as organizing your space or tackling some laundry!

Step 4: Goal Setting

Believe it or not, there is a science to setting goals. The goals you set for yourself should be both realistic
and rewarding. For instance, instead of setting the goal “Get all straight A’s this semester,” try a smaller
but related goal: “I’m going to study 6 hours per week.” By doing this, you’ve created a healthy,
achievable goal that leaves time for plenty of study breaks, adequate rest, and avoids mental fatigue.

Step 5: Create Checklists

If you’re a visual learner, then checklists are for you! Keeping a physical list of tasks not only keeps you
accountable, but helps you manage the time needed to complete the tasks.
Have a lot of deadlines coming up? Use your syllabi as a guide to make a list of assignments and exams
in order of their due date. This will help you focus on time sensitive tasks first and will keep important
dates from creeping up on you.

Step 6: Celebrate!

Don’t forget to reward yourself for hard work. Even if it’s as small as taking breaks during an intense
study session, it’s important to be kind to yourself. Be sure to step away when you’re frustrated—try
switching up your study method or going for a quick walk.
Remember that sitting down at a desk all day doesn’t serve you or your studying. In your free time,
consider going outside or taking a yoga class. There are so many resources out there to get you outside
and moving for the sake of your stressors.


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Ascent is an award-winning lending company, committed to revolutionizing how students and families
pay for higher education. Check out Ascent’s blog for other student tips and guides to navigate your
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