student studying

The stereotype of the tired, worn-down student entering finals week – or even the end of an average week – has a ring of truth to it. A recent study showed a strong association between students’ sleep schedules and scholastic performance. Yet sleep is only one part of the puzzle. We asked Reality Changers, a San-Diego based organization that mentors future college students, for some tips and tricks on how to create habits that’ll benefit students of any age – elementary, high school, college and postgraduate.

If you want to perform your best in the classroom, proper study habits are essential. But if your other habits would grade out at a D or F – sleep, exercise, time management outside of school – achieving superlative academic results is next to impossible.

Getting your extra-curricular habits in order goes a long way toward straight A’s at school – and that goes for everyone from the 4th grade to their 4th year of post-graduate studies. At Reality Changers, we’ve mentored hundreds of high school students in their pursuit toward their college dreams. Through the years, we’ve realized how important their out-of-classroom habits and behaviors are. And in many cases, they’re more important than regular study patterns.

Keep in mind the big three S’s. That’s sleep, sugar, and schedules. Master these, and you’re well on your way to academic excellence.


A good night’s sleep is imperative for optimal classroom performance. Aim for at least 8 hours per night. If you’re having trouble getting to sleep, try sticking to a regular sleep schedule, and try to create the ideal sleeping environment. Shutting off all electronic devices – sorry, mobile phone addicts – an hour before shuteye helps.


Too much sugar creates something called “brain fog.” And the symptom is exactly what it sounds like – groggy thought processes, sluggishness, and poor memory recollection. Keep your processed sugar consumption under control by going for more whole, natural foods in your diet.


Don’t let time be your enemy. Write down a handful of your most pressing priorities for the next day. Make a concentrated effort to accomplish your goals. And stick to a somewhat regular schedule. Nobody’s day works exactly like clockwork. Yet taking the randomness out of your day-to-day activities creates a structure – a “method to the madness,” if you will – to lessen chaos and provide more focus, both in and out school.

It’s not all about the three S’s. Exercise is important, along with spending some quality time outdoors. Find those habits that work for you. If you notice more productivity and a less hectic daily schedule, stick with it – before you realize it, your positive habits will just happen, without thinking about it!


Reality Changers-Healthy Habits v2

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Reality Changers helps at-risk, disadvantaged San Diego high school students with all aspects of college education: mentoring, scholarships, grants, leadership cultivation, and more. Founded by Christopher Yanov, Reality Changers has been praised by luminaries such as former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, businessman and Shark Tank TV host Daymond John, and others. The San Diego-based non-profit organization relies on the generous contributions of individual and corporate donors. To learn more about Reality Changers, visit their contact page, or call 619.516.2222. Reality Changers considers all donations as investments toward deserving youth – and also toward the future of San Diego and the entire country. To make an investment, click here.