That is to be a successful student in the university? How does someone become a successful in the university?
Students in the university context, generally have a negative net worth: the worth of all their assets is outweighed by the debt they have.
Also true: students in the university make very little money, if any at all.
These two observations about students in universities raise a question: what are the markers of success for students if not their net worth or how much money they make?
Let’s start by characterizing success for students in the university. We’ll then move to the “how” question where we consider different habits a student can cultivate to become a successful student. We conclude with Harness’s contribution to this project
Here are some of the most common characteristics which people think define success for students in a university:
Did you graduate summa cum laude from your university? Chances are that people will say of you that you were a very successful student while at your university.
Were you able to have most or all of your education funded by scholarships? Chances are that people will say of you that you were a very successful student while at your university.
Have you won a state-wide or national championship on one of your university’s sports teams? Chances are that people will say of you that you were a very successful student while at your university.
We invite you to now pause and think: are these actually good markers of successful students in a university? It’s not obvious.
We’ve all met the student with the 4.0 GPA but who was minimally connected to others and to what was going on within themselves—aloof, you might say, to everything around them.
We’ve also all met the student who received and maintained a full-ride scholarship to their dream school, but whose life on the inside—their mental health—was essentially deteriorating.
And, finally, we’ve all heard of the three-time national [enter sport here] champion whose life outside of sports was nothing but disastrous.
We’re not saying that students who are successful in their university don’t sometimes enjoy grades, good funding, or good involvement with their sport. We’re saying that these markers don’t necessarily indicate that the student is successful.
What is successful for students in the university context if not these classic go-to’s? Here we take a more novel approach.
We think being a successful student is more a matter of what’s going within the student than what’s going on outside of them.
Grades, funding, and sports are externally visible factors.
A student’s mental health, however, is an internal enterprise. It can lead to good grades, funding, etc., but it doesn’t always. When a student can enjoy positive mental health, we think they can begin to flourish.
And this is what success is about, whether you’re a student or an entrepreneur: success is about flourishing.
What’s it mean to flourish? In short, it’s living a life which promote the well-being of you and others, a life which aligns with what’s good for you and those around you.
In the university a successful student is someone who takes advantage of their unique position in life—being in a place full of peers, most of whom are in the beginning stages of discovering who they are, what they value, and how they’re going to pursue their dreams—to promote the well being of themselves and others.
Becoming a successful student in the university means you’re utilizing your special circumstances towards what’s genuinely good for you.
Assuming this is a good conception of success for students in the university, what could this look like in practice? What are concrete steps students can take to become successful in the university context? We’ve got some ideas.
No one knows your mental health better than you. Well, unless you have a therapist—they might.
But this fact places you in a powerful position. It reminds you that others can’t improve your mental health for you (though, unfortunately it seems like they can negatively impact it without your asking). If we had to reduce this point to one practical step, here’s what we would say:
Get to know yourself.
This will sound silly at first. “I already know myself!” you’ll say. You most certainly probably do. But it’s probably fair to say that we all have parts of ourselves we’d prefer not to pay too much attention too, right?
So, more specifically:
Get to know your needs.
Get to know your triggers.
Get to know your loves.
This has to feel like strange advice come from a tech company. We know, we know.
But with these things in mind, you’ll be amazed at how your mental health is doing because your mental health is often closely related to how your needs, triggers and loves are being interacted with.
And once your mental health takes positive shape, you’ll likely flourish more: the well-being of you and those around you will be noticeably enhanced, noticeably promoted.
What we’ve discovered is that it’s an essential ingredient of success.
There’s at least two kinds of connection to go after.
The first is largely what we wrote about in the last section: being connected to yourself. If you’re not connected to yourself, good luck establishing long-lasting, meaningful connections to others.
And that’s the second kind of connection that’s important: being connected to others. This can happen in a variety of different ways: friendship, mentorship, having colleagues, etc.
Friendship and mentorship are among the most important.
Hopefully you’ve got an idea of what friendship can look like. Ideally, it’s when you’ve got two people sharing life together who are equally invested in promoting the other person’s well being.
Mentorship is similar, but it differs in that there’s usually a special focus on some specific set of skills, traits or goals. In mentorship, the relationship exists to meet some specific end that is usually related to a specific domain you care about: career, religious, athletic, etc.
Do you have a mentor? Are you connected in this way? Do you even know where to start to find someone who wants to be a mentor?
If you want to be a successful student in the university context, we recommend you think seriously about this. We thought so seriously about it, we’ve integrated it into what we do.
Start getting connected today with our platform, Univa. It exists to grant you connection to fellow innovators, including mentorship with experienced professionals.
Success is a matter of flourishing. And flourishing is, to a significant degree, a matter of your mental health and the mental health of those around you.
Prioritize it. Get connected.
Entrepreneurs are most known for their ability to keep going when times are tough. They’re also known for their innovations and a commitment to bettering