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Student to Student: Advice from our Writers (Part 3)

BYU-Pathway writers share how they learned to be successful as students

Ashton Hatch, Jacob Orse, Larissa Beatty, and Natalia Ward.
BYU-Pathway Worldwide students are all unique, but they often face similar challenges as they pursue education.Four of BYU-Pathway’s communication interns have compiled tips they found useful when striving to balance gaining an education, making a living, and becoming disciples of Jesus Christ. They are learning how to make sense of and manage all their responsibilities — just like you! Check out their advice as working students.

Ashton Hatch

Brigham Young University graduate

As a recent college graduate, I often find myself looking back and wondering how I did it. Every time, I remember that I didn’t do it alone. I am grateful to my Heavenly Father for the people in my life and the lessons I learned along the way.

  • Put First Things First. Always strive to prioritize your tasks and assignments. Organize yourself accordingly. If you struggle to figure out which thing takes precedence, decide based on due date or difficulty! I always begin my study time with diving into the scriptures and engaging with the Lord in prayer. This ritual renews me spiritually and reminds me of the reliance I need to have on the Spirit.
  • Remember Your “Why.” When school gets tough or discouraging, always try to remember your “why” for deciding to go back to school. My “why” is my family. The very best I can give them is what the Lord expects, and He will enable and magnify my achievements beyond anything I could ever dream or deserve, according to my faith and efforts.

Larissa Beatty

Brigham Young University student


As a full time student and part-time employee, I’m grateful for the many opportunities I’ve had to get real-world experience as I figure out who I am and what I want to do for my career. As I learn how to balance my time, these are some ways that I’ve been able to persevere and find joy in the journey.

  • F.E.A.R (Face Everything And Rise). Fear of the unknown, of making the wrong choice, of not performing my best, all of these have been real for me and can be for everyone. In times of fear, it has helped me to remember this mantra: You can either Forget Everything And Run, or Face Everything And Rise. The fear will come regardless; will you let it paralyze you in place or propel you forward?
  • Reward Yourself! When the things you’re working toward are big milestones like a degree, accomplishing them might feel intimidating. In order to tackle everything I have to do, I like to give myself little rewards along the way. It could be something as small as watching a funny video after a long study session, or as big as a weekend hiking trip to celebrate getting to the end of the semester. Little rewards are a great reminder that you’re still accomplishing something, and they can give you the motivation you need to keep moving forward.

Jacob Orse

BYU-Idaho student

Jacob Orse.jpg

School is a life-changing experience, but sometimes it is easy to lose focus when life gets busy. I’ve often found myself getting caught in the “thick of thin things,” realizing that while what I am doing is good, there are better ways to use my time. Here are some tips that have helped me simplify my life to enjoy school more.

  • Measure Twice, Cut Once. As a carpenter, double-checking your measurements before cutting a piece of wood can save a lot of future frustration, but the advice can be applied to school work too. Planning and preparation is a powerful habit. Although you may feel you are too busy with work, school, and family, take a moment to pause your day, review what you need to accomplish, and plan accordingly.
  • Trial and Error. There is no shortage of advice and self-help in today’s world. No matter what the experts say, some advice will help you more than it might help someone else. Be willing to honestly and thoroughly test new advice. I have tried a lot of methods for planning, studying, and learning. Some of these tips have helped me enormously, while others haven’t worked out so well, but I have only been able to realize what works and what doesn’t after I tested them out!

Natalia Ward

BYU-Idaho student

natalia ward photo.jpeg

I believe that one of the best pursuits in life is to be happy. Sometimes, amid school work and other responsibilities, I lose sight of that goal. Not everything that happens in life is something that automatically brings joy. Rather, oftentimes we have to work for it. Here are some tips I’ve picked up to remember to pursue happiness in everything that I do.

  • Choose to Smile. Life can be overwhelming! You know that! Luckily, one of the greatest blessings in life is choice, and you can choose to be happy. Eliud Kipchoge, the first person to run a marathon in less than two hours, smiles whenever he feels pain. Choosing to smile through pain makes you more effective and brings joy to unpleasant activities. 1
    Runner’s World, “This is why Kipchoge smiles when he runs (and why you should be doing it too),” Runner’s World, Feb. 2018
  • Show Gratitude. I’ve found that there is no better medicine when you’re feeling sorry for yourself than to sit back and be grateful. I try to write one thing that I’m grateful for daily. Overtime I’ve come to feel less entitled and more humble. Gratitude is even scientifically proven to improve mental well-being! 2
    Joshua Brown and Joel Wong, “How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain”, Greater Good Magazine, June 2017
    If you want to keep an open perspective and recognize the blessings you have, express gratitude.

As you organize your priorities and set goals, try incorporating some of these tips to help you succeed. You don’t have to do all of them at once, and some might work better for you than others. Pick one or two and get started!
What advice do you have for other students? Comment below!