8 tips for becoming a First Class Student

  1. Read 

Books are a man’s best friend, the power of books cannot be put into words. If I told you that I had Machiavelli, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Richard Branson, Warren Buffet, Napoleon and Sun Tzu amongst many other legends all in my room having a meeting every morning, would you come to my house?

Of course you would! And I do… We not only meet every morning, we meet on the bus, we meet on the train, we meet on the toilet, we meet whenever we can. Your books are track records of how to become successful, how to do what the greats have already done, you’d be a fool to go your whole life without grabbing information from the people who did it before you.

Your mind is a garden; do you want beautiful flowers or do you want thorns and stinging nettles? The choice is yours



2. Model

Similar to what I said about books… Mentors are readily available. As for University, find a good student (graduate or final year) and get guidance from them. A gatekeeper is someone who has the key for those who want to enter a certain place, and in this instance your lecturers are the gatekeepers…

They say that you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with, as a student, you have a choice, you can spend all the time you want bumming around with your friends, but that won’t get you the grades or knowledge that you need for life. However, your lecturers, they have the knowledge, and they can help you get the grades, my advice is that you become that annoying fly in the room that never leaves, spend as much time with your lecturers as possible. Make them your best friend.

I would email my lecturers every other week with the subject line ‘Can I have 15 minutes for a coffee?’… Guess what? They secretly loved it! Nothing better than a student that actually wants to learn.


3. Travel

In my final year of University I traveled to six different countries (Amsterdam, Berlin, Vegas, Scotland, Sri Lanka and France)… Why the hell would I do that you ask?

Because travelling opens your mind like nothing else in this world, and as a student, it is very important to open your mind and consistently learn so you can put that creativity into your work.

Of course, as a student you aren’t rich, but you are a student, and one of the best pieces of advice I got from my uncle before going to university was…

‘During your time as a student there will be lots of free money readily available to you, make use of it, because the minute you graduate, no one cares’.

And this was and is very true, whether the university is offering to support you to go and study abroad or give you a grant to travel to an academic conference in another country, it doesn’t matter, just go!

Aside to this, no matter what course you’re studying there is always more you can learn about your subject in another country… They say don’t mix business and pleasure, I say studying and pleasure are one in the same, mix up the pot and make a big ol’ stew!


4. Have fun

As a student, actually, take a few steps back. As a human being, you are fun, happy and peaceful in your natural state, nothing should subtract from this, especially not studying. There are scientific studies that prove you work better when you’re happy, so why do so many people feel the need to take fun away from work? It’s time to start operating the correct way round, create a fun environment to work in, grab some bean bags, snacks, music, your mastermind group and a bunch of highlighters and create the revision sessions that work for you. #thankmelater


5. Become your course

Indulge in whatever you’re studying, even if half way through you find you don’t like it, just jump in the deep end and see what you learn. You can’t be a part time student and expect to create full time prosperity from whatever you’re studying. If you’re a politics student, become a philosopher, debate theories and political systems with your friends, volunteer at your local think tank. If you’re a business student, start a business, there are a plethora of grants and start-up schemes out there for students, don’t miss out because you wanted to stay in and eat pizza (although this is recommended on occasions). Remember, you get what you give.


6. Set Goals

Goal setting is one of the keys to success in life, so how can you expect to succeed as a student and not set goals? Set goals for everything and anything you want, Look at your course modules, identify the coursework you’ve got coming throughout the year and map your journey to the grades that you want. Yes you might not start with a 70% mark, but that’s the beauty of it, that 54% mark soon becomes 63, 63 soon becomes 68, and 68 soon becomes 77, and before you know it you’re telling your self ‘I did it’!


Stairs Image


7. Let your set backs be a set up for a come back


University can be a life changing experience for you, or it can be another boring chapter in your life, but as always, the choice is yours.

That buzz of moving in and meeting your roommates does eventually die down, and you do get moments when you look at your bank account and/or your grades and want the ground to swallow you up. However, they say that your destiny is shaped in the moment of decision, at those bumps in the road, you can climb back into your shell and decide to let life beat you, or you can get up with energy, show up looking good and watch your circumstances change as you take action towards your goals.

Some of life’s lessons are in the deepest darkest moments, don’t miss out on the teaching because you were too busy sulking, because you will have to take the class again whether you like it or not.


8. Create a mastermind group

Identify people on your course who are similar to you but also have knowledge in different areas, for me I was blessed enough for this to happen organically, but if you don’t meet those people straight away, go find them. You’re going to need at least one or two people on your side that you can bounce ideas off, reign you in when you’re missing too many lectures, copy your notes (and vice versa).  Don’t underestimate the power of a mastermind group in university, you can help each other figure out some of the more difficult parts, but also, it makes the experience all the more memorable, knowing that someone’s going through the same trials and tribulations as you, and ultimately, make it clear that as friends, study buddies and partners in crime, you are here to succeed, whatever that may look like for you.


Want some more tips? Checkout the below video of me inspiring and motivating students from Coventry University