Habits of successful college students aren’t complicated, but require discipline and intentionality. Read on to learn more… 

Successful people are empowered by their environments and productive habits. The same is true of successful college students. Long term success isn’t an accident or luck. It’s the result of an intentional pursuit, daily habits, and consistent action.

So, if you want to be a successful college student, now or in the future, here’s a fast track to get you started. We’ve broken these habits into 3 categories – starting with personal habits of a successful college students.


Self care

This is where a college student can quickly flounder or flourish. What does self care and maintaining energy look like? Eating right, exercising regularly and getting plenty of sleep for starters. It’s also important to focus on your mental and spiritual health during this season of life. You can find some great practices for better mental health right here.

Seek clarity

Asking yourself questions is a great way to create and maintain clarity: Why am I in school? Why am I pursuing a college degree? What are my career goals? What kinds of internships, co-op, or shadowing experiences will allow me to apply my knowledge and gain real world experience? Knowing what you want to accomplish, thinking on it regularly, and taking small daily steps puts you on the path to actually creating your reality.

Be  a difference maker

Strive to do one thing each day that will make a difference in someone else’s life and it’ll make a difference in yours!

Routines that matter

One of the most critical parts of any journey is the beginning. This is especially true for your daily journey. One of our most recommended books in creating the right kind of routine is Miracle Morning. In the book, the idea of S.A.V.E.R.S. is communicated this way:

– Silence – Get quiet, clear your mind.

– Affirmations – How you talk to yourself matters – make sure it’s positive!

– Visualize – Your success and goals.

– Exercise – Physical activity to get the blood flowing, essential for peak performance.

– Read – Leaders are readers and constantly looking to grow.

– Scribing – A fancy word for writing.  Whether it’s capturing thoughts or intentionally journaling with a purpose, observing your thoughts, actions, and feelings is essential.  It’s allows you to make small, incremental changes that are aligned with your desired goals and outcomes.


Learn how to develop influence

There’s no better place to hone your skills of leadership and influence than during college.  With diversity, opportunity, and freedom at every corner; college is the perfect place to develop your leadership skills, accelerate your personal growth, and learn to positively influence others. Relationships make the world go round and there is no better place to start than Dale Carnegie’s recently refreshed classic, Winning Friends & Influencing People in the Digital Age.

Demonstrate courage

Courage is doing the right thing – not the easy thing. There will be days you don’t want to get up and go to class, but it’s the right thing for your education and your future. Going to a party the night before a big test may sound like fun, but is it really the best decision? These are just some of the questions you will encounter.  Building your courage muscle is key.

Increase productivity in areas that matter

First, determine what those areas are for you. Maybe you need to improve key skills like communication, leadership, organization, or “Finding Your Why”. After you’ve determined these goals, continue to track and monitor your progress to ensure you’re on track. Do one small task each day and it will quickly add up to meeting your goals!


Start before arriving on campus

Financial habits start long before you arrive on campus, including topics like understanding the cost of college and the impact of taking out student loans. It’s also important to learn and consider different types of loans, different repayment methods, and what the long term financial impact will be. Did you know there are over 126 ways to repay education loans? Picking the right loan can be a game changer, so get the 411 early.

Create a budget

It’s important to understand the impact of expenses as well as having a cash flow / spending plan. For many students, this is your first time to manage and pay bills. Don’t go into this blind. Develop a plan early so, you’re not caught off guard. We’ve put together a college budget sheet to make it easy for you! Just shoot us a message, and we’ll send it your way! 

Read finance books

We’ve talked about the power of reading and exercising your mind a few times and when it comes to your finances, it’s no different. Reading a book or two each year is the perfect  prescription for building financial health, both today and in the future. Here’s a few we recommend:

Financial Basics – Susan Knox

The Personal Economic Model – Don Blanton & Dr. CW Copeland

I Was Broke. Now I’m Not – Joe Sangl

Find ways to supplement income

Everybody loves a little extra cash. Tutoring, work study programs, a note taking service, or small part time job are perfect for making a little extra cash. Don’t forget to pay yourself first (think about saving 10-20%), then you can enjoy the rest.

Being a successful college student is not hard, but does require discipline, routines, and creating healthy habits. Following these guidelines will set you up for success now and in the future. As always – if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us anytime!