Ministry of Education, Guyana

What Are Some Characteristics of a Proactive Student?

Even for the most conscientious students, making the transition from high school to college can be tricky. In general, students go from attending all of their classes every day to attending a class only a few times a week. This reality puts time management skills to the test, but you can triumph over this and other challenges by being proactive.

Manager Your Time
A proactive person is a can-do person -- an assertive person who makes things happen rather than a passive person who waits for things to happen. Fundamentally, a proactive student is one who assumes control of and takes responsibility for his education. Begin by taking control of your time -- your most valuable asset. Keep an electronic or paper calendar of your quizzes, tests, assignments and other due dates. Schedule your extracurricular school and social activities around your academic obligations.

Be Engaged in Class
View every class session as a learning opportunity not to be squandered. Attend class regularly, participate in a meaningful way, take copious notes and stay current with your assignments. If you miss a class, ask a classmate for notes; don't assume teachers will bring you up-to-date. Ask questions of your teachers when you need clarification and especially when you encounter problems -- both during class and during teachers' office hours. Most students hit a difficult patch at one time or another, and proactive students promptly consult with teachers to find a recourse, which might include tutoring help outside of class. Dispense with the blame game; proactive students remain focused on successful outcomes.

Be Creative
Proactive students find ways to round out their education and develop meaningful relationships, both of which can enhance their education. For example, form a study group with fellow students to pool resources and ideas and to encourage each other -- something that is particularly helpful if a class proves difficult. Or seek out a mentoring relationship with a teacher, academic adviser or other respected campus leader so that you have a mature person you can talk to, confide in and seek counsel from to keep you focused and on track.


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