Experienced students and a teacher have figured out how to balance success and fun; now, they’re sharing their secrets.
Students Brandon Price, Jordyn Hanevold and professor of biology Del Smith were presented with these awards at the end-of-the-year Dixie Awards ceremony for the 2013-2014 school year.
They offered advice for how they managed to be successful and enjoy themselves at Dixie State University.
Be involved and know your limits
If there is one thing that all freshmen should know upon entering college, it’s that being involved is crucial, said Price, a communication graduate from Brigham City, and Hanevold, a senior communication major from Logandale, Nevada.
The importance of involvement was a common priority between Price and Hanevold. Students tend to think being involved will cause their academic success to drop, but Price and Hanevold said being involved kept them busy, gave them commitments and helped them to become more productive individuals.
While being involved is certainly important, knowing when to say “no” to a social activity and focus on studying and resting is also important, Hanevold said.
She said she attended all school-sponsored events, but she was thoughtful about other social events and carefully weighed the importance of schoolwork, sleep and having a social life.
“Sometimes saying ‘no’ can be really awkward … You have to look out for your own sanity and realize when you have taken enough onto your plate,” Price said.
Engage your brain
Take time to learn new information and keep your brain busy, Smith said. He said an important part of this engagement happens in the classroom. Come to class prepared so that you can talk with your classmates and professors about the material and gain a deeper understanding of it, he said.
The more involved and engaged students are in clubs and other extra-curricular activities, the better they generally do in their studies, Price said.
“It’s kind of a weird anomaly — you learn to manage your time better, adapt quicker, and you don’t waste your time on things that are less engaging,” Price said.
Engage your muscles
Engaging your brain is important, but if you don’t take time away from studies to engage your muscles you won’t be able to focus your brain, Smith said.
“If you aren’t physically healthy, your brain isn’t there,” he said.
Take a walk, hit the gym, play Frisbee, just do something to get away from the computer, away from books and out and about, he said.
Sleep is an important part of physical health, Hanevold, Price and Smith said. If you don’t set aside time for your body to recover then you will not perform. Smith said recovery time is sleep, and yes, you need it.
Challenging yourself is a big part of being successful, Price said. Expand yourself by taking an elective class, joining a club, taking on a leadership role or whatever it is that challenges you, he said.
“There are times where you are in your comfort zone, things are going good, and you’re kind of in a rhythm, but if you stay in that rhythm for too long, you kind of get into a rut,” Price said.
It is important that students figure out what challenges them, what they are capable of, and what they want to gain from school, Smith said.
Once the comparison stops, students are able to more easily focus on themselves and what they want, Smith said.
He said determining what students want from their DSU experience is the first step, then they must realize what it will take to make what they want from their college life a reality.