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Student to Student: Advice From Our Writers (Part 4)

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

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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, working to develop self-reliance, and becoming disciples of Jesus Christ. They are learning how to manage all of their responsibilities — just like you! Check out what advice they have for students.

Ellika Barlow, BYU-Idaho Student

You can change your life through education. That’s incredible, but it can also be difficult. Here are a couple of tips to help you find success.

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  • Reach out for help! I’ll tell you a secret: you don’t have to do this on your own. Homework can be hard, but there are many resources to help you. Your instructors, study groups, and tutoring centers are all incredible resources that are often underutilized. Reach out to them — they’ll help you do your best work!
  • Do it imperfectly. Remember, perfection is not a human quality. Sometimes we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to get things right on the first try. This can slow us down and make it harder to get through homework. Get rid of the idea of perfection. Just do it, even if it’s imperfect.

Cate Williamson, BYU-Idaho graduate

Often, staying motivated and positive was the most difficult part of my university experience. But now that I’ve graduated, I look back at my education fondly. Here is my advice looking back that you might consider when the going gets tough.

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  • Cultivate “a perfect brightness of hope.” 1 This is your time to shine! If you don’t believe your hard work will pay off, it is much harder to endure to the end. Find an area of study you’re passionate about so you can be excited about your career. Pray that the Spirit will help you have hope for the future. We can’t control the future, but we can optimistically prepare for life after graduation.
  • If not now, when? There will always be excuses for not doing homework, not participating in courses, or not staying in school. Whenever I’m procrastinating, I tell myself, “I can start the task now and achieve my goal sooner, or I can start the task later and wait longer to earn my reward.”

Eli Dial, BYU-Idaho graduate

It seems that life piles on negative stress all at once during the university experience. At least, it did for me. Here are two things that helped me “face the future with faith.” 2
Russell M. Nelson, “Face the Future with Faith,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2011, 34
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  • Move forward regardless. There will probably be times when you feel overwhelmed with grief over loved ones, stress for homework, and more, but that’s not the end. Keep moving forward, regardless. God blesses those who endure. 3
  • Be focused in the morning. Start your day productively! Make your bed, read your scriptures, have a healthy meal, etc. Starting your day on the right foot can help you stay productive the rest of the day. Who knows, maybe you’ll even end up with free time at the end of the day.

Katie Austin, BYU-Idaho student

Almost all school experiences help me get closer to becoming the person I want to be: a truer disciple of Christ, a more successful student, and a closer friend. I am grateful for the trials I face when trying to balance my work, school, and social life. Here are tips that motivate me to keep going!

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  • You’re not alone! We have many resources around us. With Heavenly Father by our side, we can receive His comfort and guidance to reassure us that we can do hard things - and that we are NOT alone. There are Church leaders, instructors, friends, and peers who want to help. 
  • Step by step. School can be stressful! To-do lists might feel endless. Taking time to take a step back, breathe, and reevaluate helps put daily tasks into perspective. I love rewarding my accomplishments (small and big!) by taking breaks between assignments: a walk for fresh air, a special treat, or talking to a friend to clear my head.

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!