Follow these tips if you want enjoy your school experience as well as succeed
Are you someone who sees the glass as half empty? Being negative can drain the fun out of social situations, but it can also take a toll on your performance at school. If you want to do the best in your classes, and make the most out of your schooling, set your sights on what’s going well. All it takes is a little practice. Follow these suggestions, and you’ll find your time in school can be more meaningful and enjoyable. Here’s how:
Give yourself points for resilience
Hanging in there with challenges is not easy. When you have a class or a subject that you find difficult, stick with it and get the help you need. Reach out to your teachers for extra help. Ask your fellow students if they’re willing to study together. Don’t give up if your first attempt to improve doesn’t go smoothly—if you persist, you’ll find someone willing to work with you. Remember that hardships don’t last forever—you can overcome them if you put a little thought into how to tackle the problem in a new way.
Say affirming things to yourself
One way to help improve your attitude is to say things (to yourself, or out loud to others) that focus on what is going well. Use this trick to replace the negative thoughts that may come into your head—or that other people might say to you. Here are examples of some phrases that can be useful:
- “I can do this assignment.”
- “I’ve noticed that I’ve improved at _____ since I started to _______.”
- “Look how much I’ve learned about _______.”
- “I can improve my ability to ______ if I take the time to practice.”
- “My performance at school will be better if I study more.”
- “I am confident that if I talk to my teachers, they could help me.”
- “I can learn this lesson if I just put my mind to it.”
Be generous towards others
Positive people demonstrate a generous attitude towards those around them. If you are surrounding yourself with negative people, this will be harder. Let your friends and classmates know that you believe in them and that you’re committed to having a more positive experience together. You can compliment them, offer help if they need it, or show an interest in topics you know they care about. Over time this positive reinforcement can help them to feel more confident, and you’ll both benefit!
We all struggle with stress about life circumstances, our own limitations, responsibilities, and finances, but those shouldn’t take over your life or dominate your attitude. According to Harvard Health Publishing, there are numerous psychological studies suggesting that gratitude can improve your attitude towards life and improve your emotional and physical health. Take time out of each day to list a few of the things you’re genuinely thankful for. This will redirect attention you may be spending feeling gloomy or cynical, and can help you to see your life in a different light. Surely there is a person who has shown you even a small kindness. Maybe there’s a certain place that makes you happy just to spend time there. Perhaps you have a pet you love, a song that makes you smile, or a sweater that brightens your day whenever you wear it. These may be small things, but your gratitude can have a powerful influence on your life. Make a list and add to it whenever you can.
Look at a situation from another angle
It’s usually not hard to find something positive—even in a difficult situation. A good way to start is to consider what you’ve learned from a challenging scenario. Whenever you catch yourself saying or thinking something negative, look for the positive. The mindfulness is half the battle. Before long you’ll be looking for positive statements automatically! These are examples of how you can easily convert how you are thinking:
- When you start to say “I can’t,” switch to “I can try.”
- In class when you feel yourself thinking, “I can’t learn this,” raise your hand and ask the teacher, “Can you please explain that again?”
- If you start out saying, “I hate this class,” slow down and be specific by saying, “This class is hard for me now, but I’m confident that once I learn the material, I’ll be more capable and know more.”
- When you want to say, “This is too much homework,” think to yourself, “If I commit to doing a good job on this homework, I’ll gain a good understanding of the subject.”
- If you find yourself saying, “This teacher assigns too much work,” turn that around to “I can tell this teacher really cares about giving us the knowledge we need to succeed.”
- When you start to doubt your abilities by saying things like, “I’m not smart enough to learn this,” reframe that as, “I have the ability to try, and if I keep practicing, I know I can succeed.”
Turn down the drama
Being a positive person means showing respect and fairness in your dealings with others. Consider your words carefully—are they positive? Are you contributing to other people feeling secure and grounded, or adding drama and negativity to a situation? Are you able to resist the urge to gossip or give other people a hard time? A positive attitude is a shield you can use to protect yourself—and those around you—from pettiness and immaturity. It enables you to resist the urge to waste your energy, so you can gravitate towards people and conversations that are more positive and productive. Use the shield to become a more kind, sincere, and polite person. This can have a tremendous impact on your entire social circle.
Remember the Golden Rule
Do you treat others as you would like them to treat you? If you’re inconsiderate, thoughtless, or mean, this can only lead to negative feelings—for others as well as you. A more productive use of your energy is to seek ways to make friends, show others that they have your support, and look for opportunities to contribute instead of tear things down. These qualities will not only make your school experience more pleasant and valuable, but they will also benefit you in your career.
Follow these steps, and you’ll be well on your way to creating a more positive attitude towards school—and towards your life. You deserve to enjoy your time in school, and these habits will put you in the position to have positive experiences throughout your life!
This article is part of the weekly blog of the American College for Medical Careers in Orlando, FL. We care about supporting all of our students as they strive to attain their career goals. We offer professional training programs, in medical assisting, dental assisting, and medical billing and coding. To learn more, visit us online or call 407-738-4488. We look forward to hearing from you!