Success can take many shapes, especially for a 21st century student. From studies and athletics to SAT scores and college acceptance, student set their own standards and definition of success. In this article, I’m talking about my definition of success — student exceptionalism.
Although there of many definitions of success, some things remain constant. That is, highly effective students do certain things that struggling students are either unable are unwilling to do.
1. The highly effective student focuses on what matters.
Highly effective students do not major in minor things. They know that a school is a house of education and therefore do not concern themselves with teen dramas like anonymous Twitter handles, Snapchat streaks, or so-and-so’s hair style. Focusing on what matters means “compartmentalizing,” leaving the baggage at the door, and taking care of academics. These kids know they are in school to get an education. They are pragmatic problem solvers who find a way to focus on what matters.
2. The highly effective student asks for help when needed.
Highly effective students understand that asking for assistance is not a sign of weakness. Rather they see it as a sign of strength. They also recognize the appropriate time to ask. (Hint: it’s not on the test…)
They have a natural curiosity about the world around them. They want to know, “How come?” The more they learn, the more they realize there is to learn. With that, this type of student knows that life in general is not a destination; it is a journey. They are never done, knowing there is always a next level of achievement.
3. The highly effective know that work equals money and that school is a model for work.
Highly effective students learn at an early age that work equals money. They understand the concept of trading time for money and that “doing school” is a model for the work world. The really insightful ones understand that the knowledge they gain will allow them to leverage their time to increase their earning capacity. Not just working hard… working smart. These kids also recognize that highly effective grown-ups don’t just do one thing to earn money. A bank teller may own several rental units. A janitor may invest in the stock market. A stay-at-home mom may be a kindle author.
What are your thoughts?