51 Habits of Successful Students

To be a successful student is to study the habits of successful students. There are many time-tested and proven habits that are found in successful students. When I was a student, studying abroad in Australia, I struggled with many issues and challenges that a typical student would face. Here, through our team’s research and studies, we have listed 51 habits of successful students that we wished we knew when we were students.

Habits of Successful Students
Successful Students

Here are the 51 habits of successful students based on StudySuccess.org‘s research.

  1. Ask for help
    • People are more willing to help then you think. Don’t hesitate to ask for help when you need. There’s nothing to lose.
  2. Be emotionally intelligent
    • Emotional intelligence or EQ plays a greater role than the IQ in my opinion. The way to build your EQ is to seek out experiences, read books, and spending time outside with people.
  3. Turn study into play
    • There’s so much studying to do in the world. Smart students turn their studies into play. If you feel that your studies are fun, you can out-study most people, one of the most reliable habits of successful students.
  4. Start your day well
    • I looked back and my most productive days were when I woke up earlier and did something productive. Get up early, do something productive and these will escalate into a great day with many works done.
  5. Take breaks to reset & get refresh
    • Have a system where you study for some time and take a short break. Learning and studying is a marathon. You need to get your mind and body refresh.
  6. Be like-able
    • Smile. Be polite to people. This is obvious but not many people can do it with consistency. Being like-able will make you friends, and happy!
  7. Say yes to lots of things
    • You will encounter opportunities that are exciting or sometimes even daunting. Learn to get out of comfort zone on a regular basis and say “yes” to those opportunities.
  8. Say no to lots of things
    • You will also encounter situation that are “time-waster”, that doesn’t add value to your life. These could arise from “peer pressure” where you know you don’t want to do but your friends are insisting. Be brave enough to say no to those.
  9. Focus on things you can control
    • It’s not helpful to stress over things that are out of control. Learn to focus on things that are within your control. Study stoicism. Read some of Ryan Holiday’s books.
  10. Live within your means
    • It’s easy to get distracted and become trapped in wanting and buying materials – luxury goods, new things, etc. Learn to live more minimally and within a set budget.
  11. Stay focused
    • When asked about their one secret to success, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have a thing in common; focus.
  12. Stay healthy
    • Health is much more important than wealth. Don’t be like most people and neglect this. You don’t know what you have until you don’t have it anymore.
  13. Forgive others
  14. Built rapport and make friends
    • Friends are an important part of your life. Go out there, say hi to people, find and make friends.
  15. Know who you are especially your values and goals
  16. Be adaptable
    • Being adaptable means being able to survive and thrive under different and changing environment and conditions. You build this by seeking out and experiencing different environment and conditions.
  17. Be open-minded
    • Life is so broad that there are so many things you haven’t experienced and don’t even have a clue about. So listen. Don’t be a know-it-all. Have an open mind that is open to new ideas and experience.
  18. Leave your comfort zone often
    • Seek out new experiences and challenges that frighten you. You will grow as a person.
  19. Model and learn from the best
    • Like you are doing now, seek out people you have succeeded in your field and learn from them. One of the habits of successful students is that they stay close and learn from mentors.
  20. Have the courage to fail and try again
    • The courage to fail is the start of a journey for every successful students or person.
  21. Accept yourself
    • Make peace with your past, especially the unhappy experiences that still haunt you. Accepting yourself is an essential element of a happy life.
  22. Remember people
    • Have a system to remember people. Write down their names and what’s unique about them to help you remember the names.
  23. Figure out what drives you (your motivations)
    • This is related to point number 15. Understand your values and what drives you.
  24. Appreciate what you’ve got (contentment)
    • One of the keys to a happy life is appreciating what you’ve got. If I am guessing right, you have a nice place to live, good food on the table and someway onto a good education. That’s better than a lot of people. Be grateful of what you have.
  25. Make peace with your parents
    • Love and spend time with your parents. They won’t be here for many years.
  26. Know your strengths and what make you different
    • Reflect and uncover what are your natural strengths that you have built up through your experiences. Align your goals with your strengths to give yourself higher probability of success.
  27. Sleep well
    • Sleep is an underrated habit that every successful student has. Try to get at least 6 hours of sleep per day.
  28. Do it today
    • Don’t get trapped in day-dreaming. Get things done. This is one of the most obvious habits of successful students.
  29. Seek experiences over things
    • Prioritize experiences over things. Instead of a Gucci bag, go far a trip around Europe.
  30. Have written goals
    • Write down your goals. Put them above your computer or beside your bed.
  31. Read regularly
    • Make reading something you do everyday. Invest in physical books. I have a rule; never think twice about buying a book that can educate you something. Remember – a book can change your life.
  32. Don’t sweat over small stuffs
    • Related to point 13, don’t spend much time stressing over small matters that doesn’t impact your life.
  33. Be generous
    • Learn to give. Help out others in need. It really feels good.
  34. Eat and drink well
    • To be healthy is to eat and drink well. Try to get healthy meals and enough water.
  35. Choose and keep your friends wisely
    • Your success in life can depend on the five persons you spend most of your time with. Don’t be stay away from toxic people from your life.
  36. Be curious
    • Curiosity enriches your life. You feel good when you learn something new. Live for those “Aha” moments.
  37. Do what you say
    • Be responsible. Take promises heavily.
  38. Become good at something
    • Being good at something compounds. Once you become good at something, it unlocks your ability to become good at other things.
  39. Keep the bigger picture in mind
    • When in doubt, zoom out. Imagine the current situation in a much bigger context.
  40. Be comfortable with technology
    • Get up to speed with technologies. There are many technologies nowadays that can help you with your studies, focus, health, etc.
  41. Persist and don’t give up
    • Most people give up easily. They try something for a while and stop when they don’t see results. Great results come from long-term persistence. This is also one of the most commonly found habits of successful students.
  42. Watch out for bad additions
    • Be mindful of bad habits. You know it. It could be spending hours on social media or Netflix.
  43. Spend time in nature
    • Take a walk in the park. Travel to countryside. It refreshes your mind.
  44. Build up your character
    • Build up your character through a strong set of values and moral codes.
  45. Eliminate and avoid toxic people
    • Never, ever keep toxic people by your side. Life is too short for that.
  46. Practise gratitude
    • Gratitude is essential for a happy life.
  47. Keep a journal and keep track of your life
    • Journalling can help with many things. Try it. I use notion as my personal database and journal.
  48. Plan ahead
    • It. is rare that plans are implemented 100%. But not having a plan is a recipe for failure.
  49. Have a bucket list of aspirations
    • Keep a list of things you want to do before you die.
  50. Align yourself with something bigger than yourself
    • Make sure your goals are connected to something bigger than yourself. For Elon Musk, it’s about “making life multi-planetary”.
  51. Be kind and humble
    • Always be humble and kind. Kindness returns.

Well, that was it – 51 habits of successful students! If you want more tips on studying abroad, check our 10 essential study abroad tips for international students. If you are looking for scholarships to pursue your dream of studying abroad, you can check our guide on how to find and get scholarships.