4 Simple Tips to Conquer the Competition
Healthy competition is good for students. It often leads to better attendance, higher grades, and can even help to encourage success.
Unfortunately, students in highly competitive environments can find themselves focusing more on their performance in the classroom and less on their aspirations beyond school. Comparing your progress to that of your fellow students will determine if you are on the right track, but ultimately, it may distract from your long-term goals.
Becoming too preoccupied with your peers’ grades will certainly distract you from your own. You’ll have more confidence in your success if you focus on your studies more than your class rank!
Here are four simple tips to conquer the competition:
Tip #1 — Measure Your Success by Other Metrics
To some extent, it’s true that success can be measured by comparing our progress to that of our peers. If you’ve received the best marks in the class, then it surely follows that you have a firm understanding of the subject at hand. But if you spend too much time comparing your grades to those of your classmates, it might be time to take a step back and analyze your grades using a different metric.
Instead of comparing your accomplishments to your peers’ achievements, compete with yourself to consistently achieve more! You can aim to be designated on the Dean’s List, or challenge yourself to reach higher grades on your tests. Celebrate your personal and academic wins — as long as you are moving forward, every success marks a key milestone on your journey.
You may still find yourself a little stressed from time to time, but now you’ll be concentrating on how to be better than you were yesterday — and staying focused is the key to success!
Tip #2 — Focus on Your Long-Term Ambitions
When you’re young, it can be difficult to know exactly what you want to do. That being said, you may have a general idea of what you like, and which colleges and careers can help to set you down the right path. Although your goals may not be as concrete as you’d like, it’s helpful to keep your intentions in mind.
Focus on your personal ambitions rather than competing with your classmates, and you’ll stay centered. If you’re only studying physics to out-perform your fellow students, you might not be very motivated to learn. But, if you want to work for NASA someday, you’ll want to study because it directly impacts your future! Focus on how your grades can have long-term impact rather than how you rank by comparison to your classmates.
By setting your own long-term goals, you’ll stay encouraged to focus on your studies. You’ll be inspired to do well in school because you have dreams to achieve, rather than working towards just beating the competition. You’ll also maintain a healthier state of mind, and you can be proud of your success even when your classmates are succeeding, too.
Tip #3 — Learn How to Decompress When Stressed
Having some anxiety about a test is normal, and it’s okay to feel overwhelmed from time to time! However, when your stress levels are too high, your brain is not focused on the right things. Instead of retaining information, your cognitive energy is spent worrying about all the possible negative outcomes. Becoming too stressed doesn’t help your academic standing – it can actually hurt it.
When you find yourself worrying about the repercussions of a test rather than studying for the test itself, STOP. Take a minute to decompress. Explore different ways to calm down and organize your thoughts. Once you find a method that works, you can use it whenever you become too overwhelmed.
Don’t keep it a secret if you feel frustrated. Your parents, your teachers, and your friends may be able to help you discover the source of the problem and devise a solution, but you have to let them know first!
Tip #4 — Don’t Be Embarrassed to Ask for Help
It’s easy to become discouraged when your peers are succeeding academically while you’re struggling, especially when you’re in an extra-competitive environment. All too often, students feel embarrassed by their scores and regress. They’ll grapple with low grades on their own instead of seeking help to improve. Don’t let this be you! When you feel left behind and frustrated, ask for support.
Start with your teachers. Parents, peers, and YouTube can be great resources for a little help here and there, but teachers and study aids are more likely to actually improve your understanding of a subject. You’ll find yourself feeling defeated if your well-meaning friend explains a concept incorrectly, and you don’t realize this until you receive the big exam results back.
Instead, inquire about after-school tutoring, and don’t be afraid to ask questions during class. If you feel like you’ve fallen too far behind for comfort, look to outside support, such as a private learning academy, for extra help. They’ll offer courses and programs that will get you back on track and feeling confident!
Keep In Mind
Don’t overwhelm yourself by spending more time comparing grades than preparing for your studies. Make sure that you’re measuring your success by how it benefits your long-term goals, and not by how you measure up to other students. That being said, take proactive steps to manage your stress and your grades.
Remember, falling behind doesn’t mean you have to stay behind. If you feel that your classmates are outperforming you by leaps and bounds, don’t be afraid to ask for help!
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