Finding success at MIT, and anywhere else

I completely missed College Chronicles, a “blog-based reality series that follows real students attempting to overhaul their study habits”, until the first of three wrap-up episodes posted today at Study Hacks. That episode checks in with Leena, a student at MIT, who had a successful semester academically after some initial troubles.

The changes she made which had the biggest impact on her success?

  • The act of realistically plotting out when I was going to do things and how much time they would take.
  • GOING TO CLASS. It makes life so much easier.
  • Studying early enough to ask my questions at office hours.
  • Doing homework in office hours.
  • Not going back to my room until I absolutely had to.

Although Leena is probably studying rocket science at MIT, note that her keys to success in college are not rocket science: managing time responsibly, going to class, not procrastinating with respect to studying, and going to office hours. Note that these things do not not involve being a genius; do not require being a sheltered nerd who never gets out to do anything fun; can be enacted in any academic setting and not just elite universities;  cost no money; and can be implemented in any student’s life right now. (Especially, all you students out there, now that spring semester is underway or soon will be.)

Her changes which didn’t for her, as well as her advice to fellow students, are also worth a look. (Her advice follows the same path as her successful changes in being distinctly non-academic: get a good night’s sleep each night, keep in touch with friends and family, have fun, and so on.)


Filed under Education, Higher ed, Life in academia, Student culture, Study hacks

2 responses to “Finding success at MIT, and anywhere else

  1. kolson29

    I’d add not using Twitter during studying as a good way to actually get something done! If I would have had twitter in college I would have failed out!

  2. @kolson29: I’m old enough that when I was in undergrad, it wasn’t Twitter but its ancient precursor that nearly did me in — Relay chat, done using a command line interface on a VAX/VMS mainframe terminal! But it still had the same effects as too much Twittering.