How to Be Successful in School during a Not So Normal School Year

Every year around this time, parents and students start planning to return to school. However, you are not alone if you put things off to the last minute and dive in and hope it all works out. Regardless of whether you are the ultimate planner or procrastinator, students still want to know how to be successful in school during a not so normal school year. Regardless of your philosophy, for most it’s time to scramble for school supplies and clothing in a flurry of back-to-school sales and tax breaks. In all the hustle and bustle to return to school, much like new years’ resolutions, promises are made to “do better” and “be better.” By the end of September, it is back to the “reality” of doing things just like last year and the year before.

This year (and last year) COVID-19 and all its related drama have impacted the cycle. Nevertheless, some things haven’t changed.    

How to be successful in school during a not so normal school year.
Students want to know how to be successful in school in this not so normal school year.

Old habits die hard – Behavioral patterns can impact student success in school

Every year right around November (for Fall Semester) or February (for Spring Semester), I get a big rush of people who want me to help them or their child improve their grades, prepare for a standardized test, or pass a job-related test. As the owner of E & E, Inc., I am dedicated to helping people succeed using training and education, but my roster is usually filled and my schedule is fully booked by then.

The people who get strong grades, job promotions, or boss up in other ways are the ones who ask for help early or as soon as possible. That’s why I and others in the industry encourage people to start reaching out for help during prior to enrollment or at the first sign of challenge or struggle. If that is not possible, don’t give up though. Now is better than never. Those who reach out for help, do their research, and use available tools and resources tend to enjoy success in school, business, or on the job.

And these early birds also go into the school year with confidence experiencing less stress. However, please note that even those who plan, prepare, and seek help can run into frustrating challenges.

Desire Does Not Equal Success

In spite of their desire to learn how to be successful in school during this not so normal school year, we rely on what we already know to try to get the job done. We lean toward being creatures of habit. In fact, in my humble opinion, most people tend to make the same three mistakes when they’re trying to succeed in school, on the job, or when making life changes. And those who make all three of these mistakes tend to waste the most time, money, and resources. They experience the most self-doubt and often give up expecting things to remain the same.

3 Common Mistakes You Can Avoid

  1. The first mistake, is not setting intentions or goals. This is very much like getting in the car without setting a destination and just driving allowing yourself to follow another car or just following random street signs as you go along. Or worse, it’s like asking someone else to choose a destination for you. This choice not to set intentions or goals leads to wasted money, time, delays, stress, and frustrations or simply a disdain for school, education, and lowered sense of self-esteem. After a while there are no results, only complacency and a sense of being stuck.    
  2. Another common mistake is to sink all your energies into chasing grades, degrees, diplomas, or titles. Oh, and did I mention stress? This costs more than money, time, and energy. It can cause learners to lower their expectations of school, life, their career prospects, and themselves. With just a little investment and a focus on personal growth and development, you can focus on your vision. This will bring much more success and satisfaction than focusing accolades.
  3. Finally, I see a lot of people trusting schools, jobs, or other people’s expectations drive them. They come to me to fix grades, fulfill a work requirement, or worse – to get a degree or diploma that is not aligned with their purpose or desires. This lowers their chances of succeeding and even if they do succeed, they don’t go far, they lose their zeal and aren’t happy or satisfied.

Life, work, and development can be so much better, so much more. I help my clients shift focus. With just a bit of support, self-reflection, and clarity of their own desires, not only do they succeed at education and training goals, but learners can build a life they desire and deserve.

Change Is on the Horizon – Make It Work for You

I believe in the past year or so, people have gotten smarter about education, training, personal, and career development while not getting bogged down in these challenging times and without losing their enthusiasm.

I expect that this year we’re going to see a redefining of what day to day life looks like in many ways. Not the least of which is school, work, education, and training. Priorities will be realigned. With a bit of planning, setting intentions, and decisions rooted in passion, purpose, and wisdom; learners will be able face the pivots this year will surely bring and come out on the other side with silver linings for the many clouds we’ve seen. Yet, in all the change and transition, students of all ages will still need to know how to be successful in school in this not so normal school year.

The trends continue to show us that necessity is mother of invention. Just as the music industry saw the emergence of Verzus, new ways of shopping, working, and studying. Last year started with the same old same ole for most, but by the end in addition to the heartache and gut-wrenching loss of so many lives to COVID-19, many families were forced to spend more time together. Parents discovered their children needed help in school. Many adults realized priorities and chose personal and career development over complacency. While that doesn’t make up for the loss, it can one day, after we’ve healed, be seen as a silver lining. New trends in work and education had a lot of people smiling, feeling closer to and appreciating the ones they love.

Clouds and Silver Linings

With that said, many students struggled academically and didn’t have much needed resources. The truth is, while sitting in classrooms, countless students struggled and lacked the tools needed to succeed prior to last year. Furthermore, countless adults felt stuck in jobs they hated while living beneath their full potential with no way out.

However, the disruption of the patterns of everyday living helped us to start to live again in the midst of the heaviness. Priorities were re-evaluated. New beginnings were initiated. This shows us our potential to rise.

Students and learners of all ages can redefine success and succeed with a little planning, clarity, intention, faith, and purpose. Now is that time.

To learn more about E & E, Inc. and Dr. Tureka Louis’ coaching, training, and education consulting programs, you can go to Dr. Louis is on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @DrTurekaLouis. For great video content, check out the Evolve & Expand YouTube Channel.