Every known best students do certain things that are often neglected or ignored by the average students. I received the inspiration to write about this topic during one of our recent transformational discipleship training in my church (Gofamint). The issue boils down to what makes a disciple. The word translated disciple from Greek is often used interchanged, as pupil, learner, apostle, student, follower, etc. For this post I will choose the word student.
One meaning of a student is a learner or someone who attends an educational institution (Wikipedia). It implies that when a person attends school, he or she wants to learn. So the essence of such learning is to have a change and acquire some body of knowledge that will activate the change.
What are the things best students do that average student ignored?
The difference between an average student and the best student is that the former act on the knowledge acquired while the latter do not. If you want to distinguish yourself as a student, you must follow the example and the attitudes of the best students in your chosen field.
Best performing students are humble and are ready to learn. Openness of mind and acknowledgment of your limited knowledge will open you to the needed knowledge. Though, Nicodemus was a teacher of the law yet,acknowledged the superior knowledge of Jesus John 3:1-9. You might have heard or learnt about a topic, but be humble enough to hear what your teacher has to say. Interestingly, you can learn from fellow students if you are humble enough. In addition to that, event and situation can also be a learning opportunity. But, if you’re full of yourself, you’ll not be able to receive new idea.
No one succeeds and become the best student without God’s help. Apostle James told us the will of God for us to be excellent with his wisdom for the asking. James 1:5 And David the king collaborated this in his statement.
Yes, I have more insight than my teachers,for I am always thinking of your laws. I am even wiser than my elders,for I have kept your commandments. Psalms 119:99-100 NLT. So, if you are a child of God, you at an advantage. The four Hebrew boys are a good example of this. They were the best students of their time as they were found to be ten times better than their peers Daniel 1:20. Therefore, seek God first and you’re sure of becoming one of the best students around.
Another attribute of best student is their readiness to follow the exemplary example of their teacher. Whatever your dream is, someone was there before. Your teacher was once a student so follow his example and he’ll be proud of you as one of his best students. When the religious leader saw the boldness of Peter and John though uneducated, they noticed the effect of being with Jesus has rubbed off on them Acts 4:13. Therefore, follow the instruction of your teacher, his methods, his assignment, discipline and corrections, and you are good to go as far as academic success is concerned. Being the best student is simply reproducing your teacher in you in a better way.
Furthermore, one distinguishing factor between A and C student is their level of inquisition. What you don’t know, is above you. Learn to ask questions, possess a philosophical mind. A philosophical mind is without prejudice. Always ready to listen to all sides of the opinion even from perceived less intelligent people. And you can be sure your horizon will broaden. Severally, Apostle Peter proves this to be correct Matthew 16:16, 17:4, 14:22-29. Therefore, don’t just listen in the class, but also learn to ask questions. During your personal or group study and discussions, raise questions, note your observation for further clarification.
One of the simple but yet important factors to becoming the best student is attentiveness. No doubt several things will contest for your attention in the classroom yet you must be resolute not to give in. Some of these include your cell phone, fellow classmate, surrounding musicals, etc. There is hardly a time or a place that is perfect for learning except you create it. It will surprise you that the inner noise of some personal challenges can equally block your receptivity and attention if not decisively dealt with. Attentiveness is habitual. So, it takes a conscious and deliberate effort to cultivate such habit. What you give attention to get your attention. Jesus commended Mary for such act Luke 10:39.
Moreover, best students never ignore the importance of note taking in the class. Researchers believe we forgot most things we learnt in 72 hours. Don’t forget that the shortest pencil is better than the best brain. Just as you know we are prone to forgetting as a human being. This means what you don’t write down could be lost. Make note – taking your habit in the classroom when you are studying, or discussing or in the Church. Your note becomes handy when you prepare for a test or exam.
Another area often neglected by the low performance student has been personal study and practice. You cannot be among the best students if you forget the lecture or lesson taught soon after the closure of the class, only to pick the booklet or lecture material a week or two before the exam. Academic success does not come that cheap. You must create a study timetable for yourself and stick to it. Practicing what you’ve learnt is the antidote to failure. Jesus sent the seventy out to practice what he has taught them Luke 10:1-23. You become a master at what you practice. This is what the Bible has to say about the Berean Christians.
And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth. Acts 17:11-12
So, do what those folks did if you want to be among the best students. Personal audience with the teacher is one habit of the best students in the college. You get in touch with your teacher in two ways; First, through his books or materials, and second, personally. This big difference seen between the followers of Christ and the disciples (student) is personal encounter and audience with Jesus Mark 4:10, Matthew 24:3. Most teachers will love students who come around and asked intelligent questions. This proves to them that you are following their teaching(s).
Most of what we know today about Jesus’ life and teaching emanated from the disciple’s (student) questions and discussion when the crowd had left. If you want to know more, go through the lecture handout over and over again. Check other references to boost your understanding. When necessary, book an appointment with your teacher for clarity. Also attend organized tutorial for increased knowledge.
Failure is part of the history of great achievers. Where and when you fail in any subject or course, do not retract, but come back to your teacher. Go over the process again and see where you’ve failed. However, the time to experiment is not during the exam but before the exam. When Jesus’ disciples could not heal the demon possessed boy, they asked him why Matthew 17:19. Yes, they failed, but they were more concern about how to succeed rather than dwelling and throwing a pity party about their failure. It is not a crime to fail, but it is if you remain there. So fail forward.
The company you keep is one key factor that determines your academic success or otherwise. The Bible says Become wise by walking with the wise; hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces. Proverb 13:20(THE MESSAGE)
One question to evaluate the profitability of any relationship you keep is to ask whether this company is moving you closer or away from your goal. At a point, Jesus rebuked Peter because ignorantly, he wanted to derail his journey Mark 8:33. Therefore, if you want to be the best student the association to keep should be those that drive you towards your goal.
In all, focus, determination and perseverance are keys to achieving the feat of becoming the best student. It is one thing to desire success, and it is another thing to be ready to pay the price. I know the pain is great yet the gain worth the investment.
Author: Joseph Akinrinola
Joseph Akinrinola is a Pastor, Sunday school management coach, author, blogger, and a motivational speaker.
Joseph created this blog to help young Christians establish their
feet in Christ, and to provide Biblical time-tested answers to life’s
questions about relationship, christian living and personal development.