Being a student can be difficult. You have to balance your schoolwork with your other responsibilities, which may include work or time with friends and family. With practice, though, you can learn to be a responsible student and develop skills that will help you throughout the rest of your life.
Part One of Four:
Succeeding In SchoolEdit
1Attend class ready to learn each day. You should think of your role as a student similar to the way your parents and other adults approach work. In many ways, school is a sort of training ground for the work ethic and personal responsibilities that you'll need to develop in order to live successfully as an adult. You wouldn't last very long at a job if you were constantly unprepared, late, or calling in sick, so start taking school just as seriously.
- Show up to every class on time and always come prepared. Make sure you've done the homework and reading assignments, and that you have everything you'll need for class that day.
- Sit in the front of the class room and be involved in class. Listen actively, respond to questions, and ask questions if there's any material you're confused or uncertain about.
2Take good notes in class. Your notes are the building blocks of your study sessions later in the semester. Without strong notes, you may end up doing very poorly on your exams. Start by doing the reading every night and coming to class with a working knowledge of the material you'll be discussing that day.
- Start each day's notes on a fresh page in your notebook and write down the date and most recent reading assignment. This will help you track the material as you prepare for exams.
- Write anything that your instructor puts on the board. These notes are usually very important and often quoted verbatim on quizzes or tests.
- You don't have to write out every word your instructor says - this may not even be possible, depending on the class. Instead, write down the major points, like any important names, dates, events, relevant details, and results/implications.
- Try to develop a system of abbreviations that works for you. Writing your notes in short-hand can help you take notes faster and with greater efficiency.
3Rewrite your notes. It can help to rewrite the day's notes later in the day in a separate notebook. Rewriting helps you process the information and can help you have a cleaner, more organized set of notes from which to study.
- You may also find questions or inconsistencies in the days' notes that you can ask your teacher to clarify the next day.
4Study your notes and readings every day. In addition to rewriting your notes from class, it's important to review those notes and build off of them as you complete that class's reading assignments. Some studies suggest that reviewing your notes within 24 hours of class can significantly improve your retention of that information.
- Try writing questions in your notes. Interrogating the material, rather than simply glossing over it, will help you commit that information to memory and develop stronger critical-thinking skills.
Part Two of Four:
Being Responsible Outside of ClassEdit
1Manage your time wisely. Managing your time will significantly help you become a better student and a more-productive worker. Time-management skills are highly valued by teachers and employers alike, and they can help ensure that you never miss a deadline or fail to prepare for an exam.
- Use a calendar or planner to help you keep track of deadlines, appointments, and other obligations.
- Don't procrastinate. You won't actually buy yourself any time, and you'll just be even more stressed later on.
- Break your tasks down into smaller, more manageable parts. This can help make a big project much easier to accomplish.
- Have a timeline for the things you need to accomplish and work on those tasks in a logical order. Decide which tasks are a priority and which tasks/projects need to be completed before the next can be started.
2Study for tests and exams ahead of time. Every instructor designs exams differently. If your teacher hasn't specified how he or she arranges tests/exams and which material will be covered, you'll need to ask your teacher outside of class. That way you'll be able to adequately prepare for the test more efficiently.
- Start studying early. Avoid procrastinating and cramming right before a test/exam.
- Try to understand the material both broadly and precisely. Start out with the general concept and work towards understanding the details of each subject.
- Test yourself as you study to determine which subject areas need more work. Use flash cards to review terms/names/dates, then design a self-quiz to see if you have a firm grasp on the material.
3Get help if your grades fall behind. Whether you missed an important class, have trouble with certain concepts, or are dealing with a stressful family emergency, there's a chance that your grades might slip at some point. If this happens, it's important to get help right away. Remember that you don't have to resign yourself to bad grades if you're proactive and dedicated to your studies.
- Keep track of your grade in the course and recognize patterns of poor grades. Your instructor may not address your grades unless you bring them up.
- Set up a meeting with your professor as soon as possible. Explain your situation (if you have a compelling one) and ask your instructor to help explain the material you're struggling with.
- Try working with a tutor if you're really struggling with an important concept. You may be able to find a tutor through your school, or you can find one in your area by searching online.
- Start studying for tests or quizzes two weeks in advance or as soon as you're notified. Start studying for midterms or finals at least six weeks ahead.
4Take responsibility for your words and actions. If you fail to finish your homework, turn in a paper on time, or show up to your job on time, it's no one's fault but your own. Accepting responsibility is a major mark of maturity, in part because owning your obligations can help you stay focused and committed to what needs to be done in the future. 
- Give credit for any sources you use in your homework and assignments. Never plagiarize or steal intellectual/creative property from others.
- Finish your assignments on time, and give yourself a few extra days to review the final product and make any necessary revisions.
- Respect the ideas, beliefs, and opinions of others, even if you disagree with them.
- Always conduct yourself in a respectful and appropriate manner, and never make excuses for your behavior. Taking responsibility involves both the good and the bad outcomes of your choices.
5Work part time if you can. Holding down a job while you're a student can be tricky, no matter what level of education you're at. It requires a lot of time management and prioritization. However, it's ultimately a very rewarding experience that can teach you a lot of fiscal responsibility while giving you a little extra spending money to have fun with your friends. Even if you can't realistically work full time, having a part-time job can still teach you a lot and prepare you for future responsibilities.
- Find a job that's willing to work with your school schedule. Not all employers are flexible, so let them know up front that your education is a priority.
- Manage your time. Make sure you don't put off homework or projects until after work, as you may be too tired to do homework after a long shift.
- Try to stay balanced. Make some time on weekends or after school on weekdays to do fun things you enjoy like spending time with friends.
- Figure out a realistic budget that balances your expenses against your income and stick to that budget.
- You can find budget planning help online, or by talking to a guidance counselor at your school.
Part Three of Four:
Planning For Your FutureEdit
1Decide on a career that's both fulfilling and practical. As you think about your future after you graduate, you'll need to begin setting your sights on a career. The main factors you should consider are whether you would enjoy working a given job day after day and whether that job can realistically sustain you. Look into employment statistics for that job, average starting salaries, any additional training/certification you may need, and whether you would need to relocate in order to work that job.
- You can find current information on many different careers by reading through the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) website. You can also try talking to working professionals in the field you're considering.
2Think carefully before taking out any loans. Whether you're planning for college or are currently attending college, you may be looking into student loans. Loans are a great way to pay for your education, but they often come with steep interest rates that can saddle you with debt for years to come. Before you take out any loans or renew your existing loans, think about the long-term costs and look for other options that might be more financially sound.
- The general rule of thumb for students is that any loans you'll need to repay each month should not exceed eight percent of your anticipated gross monthly income.
- Think about what your anticipated career is, and look into what someone just entering that field can realistically expect to make each month in their first year of employment.
- If you're in college or planning on attending college, look into financial aid that you won't have to repay. For example, try to get any grants, scholarships, and work-study positions your school offers.
- If you won't be able to afford your loan repayment, think about other alternatives to taking out a loan. You can work a second job, try to pay off your finances in installments, or ask a trusted friend or relative to lend you the money.
3Look for networking and/or internship opportunities. Internships are a great way to gain valuable skills while you're still in school. Both internships and networking events can often lead to employment opportunities once you've established yourself and made connections in your desired field.
- Many schools offer internships to students. If not, you can find internships in your area by searching online or reading through the classifieds section in your local paper.
- Find out about networking events by joining relevant clubs and talking to working professionals in your desired field.
Part Four of Four:
Living a Healthy LifestyleEdit
1Eat a balanced, nutritious diet. Eating a balanced diet is essential for building strong muscles and bones, maintaining a healthy weight, and having enough energy to get through the day. A healthy meal should balance fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat or fat-free dairy. You should also try to avoid saturated fat, sodium, and sugar.
- Girls under age 13 should aim for around 2,000 calories each day, while boys in the same age range should aim for approximately 2,200 calories.
- Girls ages 14 to 18 should be getting approximately 2,300 calories each day, while boys in that age range should be getting around 3,000 calories.
- Students age 19 and up should aim for around 2,400 calories each day for women and around 3,000 calories each day for men.
2Make exercise a priority. It's generally recommended that adolescents should get at least one hour of physical activity each day, with the majority of that time devoted to moderate- to high-intensity aerobic exercise.  Adolescents should also engage in muscle-strengthening exercise sessions at least three days each week, though many aerobic activities build muscle while working the cardiovascular system.
- Bicycle riding, jumping rope, walking, jogging/running, and most organized sports are excellent forms of exercise for adolescents and young adults.
- If you're pressed for time, even just 20 to 30 minutes of vigorous walking or jogging can help relieve stress and burn calories.
3Get a good night's sleep every night. It's essential for growing bodies to get enough sleep and to get quality sleep every night. Teenagers generally need 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night, though some may need even more sleep. Young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 generally need seven to nine hours of sleep each night, though some may need up to 11 hours of sleep. Listen to your body and adjust your schedule if you're chronically tired or easily fatigued.
- Avoid caffeine in the afternoon and evening to get a better night's sleep. Alcohol can also disrupt your sleep, so try to drink in moderation (if you're of legal drinking age) or avoid alcohol altogether.
- Turn off all electronic devices, including cellphones, tablets, computers, and televisions, at least 30 minutes before bed. The glow of electronic screens can disrupt your body's production of melatonin, making it harder to sleep at night.
- Find something relaxing to do before bed every night, such as reading, meditation, or exercise. Be aware, though, that exercise may wake some people up, and might be best reserved for the morning.
- Stick to the same sleep schedule every day, even on weekends and days off. That means going to bed at the same time each night and getting up at the same time every morning.
4Live a sober, healthy lifestyle. Drugs and alcohol can impair your ability to succeed in school, affect your performance at work, and potentially get you into trouble with the law. Many people end up making poor decisions while under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and prolonged use can lead to dependence, addiction, and other health problems.
5Avoid smoking and other forms of tobacco. Tobacco is often used as a stress reliever, but it is actually a stimulant. Tobacco use can affect your ability to sleep at night, and prolonged use can lead to serious health problems like cancer and respiratory ailments.
- Even second-hand smoke from others can cause health problems over time. It's best to avoid smoke altogether to protect your health.
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What are your responsibilities towards your teacher and fellow students?Answered by wikiHow Contributor
- Your responsibilities to others as a student involve being respectful and polite, even if you disagree with someone. Always show respect to your teachers by coming to class on time every day and paying attention during class without talking or engaging in other distractions.
What does it mean to be a respectful student?Answered by wikiHow Contributor
- You can show your teacher respect by coming to class on time each day, paying attention in class, taking notes, and talking with your teacher about any material you're confused about or struggling with. You can also let your teacher know if you enjoyed a given assignment or lesson, as teachers generally enjoy hearing positive feedback.
Things You'll NeedEdit
- Note-taking materials (pencils, pens, erasers, paper, notebooks, folders, binders)
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