According to the online Business Dictionary, “Proactive” is “action and result oriented behaviour, instead of the one that waits for things to happen and then tries to adjust (react) to them.
Proactive behaviour aims at the identification and exploitation of opportunities and taking peremptory action against potential problems and threats, whereas reactive behaviour focuses on fighting a fire after it occurs. In the light of this, the act of being proactive as a university student is important to those who aim to achieve more academic success and to live a confident life on campus. Just like the way “solving problems which others would have rather chose to ignore” make the different between a genius and an average student, the same way “proactiveness” gives a student an edge over others and keeps others wondering what the secret behind your excellent performance is. Now, let’s look at some elements that define a proactive student.
CREATING A STUDY PLAN: This is a step towards becoming a better and more dedicated student. Some students find it more comfortable to read and understand better during the day, while others read at night. Reading in a quiet place is desirable by some students and a noisy environment is not a barrier for others – the latter is not advisable though. In essence, there is need for you to discover yourself at the early stage. Have a daily plan for your study. Manage your time so well so that you don’t fall behind. Most importantly, know how much time to devote to each task in advance.
GET TO KNOW YOUR LECTURER: You need to establish a close and good relationship with your lecturers, as this exposes you to their personalities, helps you understand their style of teaching, and what each of them expects from students. You can also ask them questions and seek special help if there is need for it.
DEVELOP SOCIAL CONNECTION: “all work and no play make jack a dull boy. Social connection help you cope when traveling gets tough and provide you an outlet when you need a distraction from your studies. Get to know your classmates and connect with those you are comfortable with. If you are the type that benefit from studying in a group, social connection will be helpful to you and this also make you active in social activities.
LEARN TO MANAGE STRESS: You will need to juggle studies, social life, extracurricular activities, financial concerns and other issues. Hence, a proactive student will not wait until his level of stress accumulate to the point where that cause negative physical and mental symptoms. Instead, you can set time aside daily to relieve stress as failure to do that might affect you to find it harder to finish assignments and even end up getting sick more often, suffering symptoms such as headaches, change in appetite, muscle aches, pains and other problems.
DON’T WAIT TO BE TOLD WHAT TO DO: The school provides students a lot of direct guidance about what to read and how to analyze it. In other words, the school is trying to develop in student autonomous reading. This is also why lecturers indicate key test that you can read for individual course. So, proactive students know their courses peculiarities and treat them as such. You can also mark date for your exams and start planning what you need to do in advance. Be aware of your strengths and weaknesses as a learner and take action to tackle the latter.
TRY DIFFERENT APPROACHES: There are many different approaches to taking notes in lectures, preparing for a tutorial, wrong an essay and revising for exams. Note the method that works and the ones that don’t at the early stage. You can ask your fellow students how they approach note taking in lectures or how they revise for exams – you can benefit from senior’s experiences and try out some of their working recommendations.
Finally, prayer is an important tool to proactive students. Nothing is complete without God. Never cease to ask him for the strength, courage, wisdom, knowledge, inspiration and motivation to carry out every given task efficiently and effectively.
Remember that you can only be a proactive student when you react to things that you know would later call for your attention, without waiting until they become problems or when it is necessary for you to react to them. It makes you have so much to gain and nothing to lose. Do you know that WHEN YOU WORK HARD, YOU CAN PLAY LATER?