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Managing High School: How to Be Successful in School and Life

High school teaches problem solving and collaboration, preparing students for college and career. Discover four ways to become successful in school and life!

High school is an incredibly fertile environment to develop a love of learning and provides a safe space for students to adopt new skills that they will carry through college and beyond. Attentive students can learn how to be successful in school and life as they combine their aptitude with experience, interest, and grit.

This article will detail four ways that high school students can achieve academic and personal success, transcending the classroom:

  • Intellectual Curiosity
  • Personal Optimism
  • Healthy Trust
  • Confident Perseverance

How to be Successful in School AND Life

According to The Atlantic, researchers have been enthusiastically studying “a set of personal qualities — often referred to as noncognitive skills, or character strengths — that include resilience, conscientiousness, optimism, self-control, and grit.” These traits are fundamental in human development, leading to “a big difference in the academic success of children” and in their lives as adults.

Success in school, then, lays the foundation for success later in life since students learn, often through trial and error, that failure is not the end. Instead, they find that “failing forward” can turn a setback into an opportunity to grow. Thus, students learn how to be successful in school and in life.

Accordingly, academic accomplishments can enhance personal achievements when students learn to embrace curiosity with optimism and trust, believing that confident perseverance will lead to success.

1.    Intellectual Curiosity

For students to achieve academic success, they should develop their intellectual curiosity by taking courses that challenge their understanding and expand their appreciation of the world at large, especially when education finds a voice through real-world application.

High students at Marlborough can enroll in state-of-the-art classes, including the following:

  • Honors Humanities Seminar: Moral Philosophy explores the "good life” by examining the philosophies that guide government and culture. The course investigates the notion of the “good society,” including concepts of freedom, justice, and personal responsibility.

  • Students interested in the sciences can take Advanced Placement Environmental Science, which takes an interdisciplinary approach to biology, chemistry, and the social sciences. As they focus on environmentalism, students analyze connections between renewable or non-renewable energy sources and poverty, human population growth, global resources, and the escalating impact of humans on natural systems.

  • Design for Social Impact: An Interdisciplinary Exploration in Entrepreneurship, Social Justice, and Technology appeals to students who want to explore the ongoing collaboration between local nonprofits, government agencies, and businesses. The students work in teams to develop a business plan for social enterprise; thus, they apply practical skills to contemporary social problems.

2. Personal Optimism

Students who are successful in school and life tend to believe that they can overcome obstacles, whether the hurdles are minor or significant complications. Moreover, optimistic individuals generally understand that their ability and competency will grow over time, so they regard their work as a progressive experience.

  • As a private, single-sex school, Marlborough has a rich history, with numerous examples of students who found their passion. This past year, for instance, Marlborough students garnered 71 art awards and 3 creative writing awards at The Scholastic Art and Writing Competition  from the West Region-at-Large division; their enthusiasm and skill resulted in great success.

  • Additionally, Marlborough’s Honors Capstone Program in the Arts draws from the student’s range of experience, as well as her proficiency in a particular field, enabling her to complete imaginative works of art that may include sculpture, photography, film, poetry, narrative fiction, musical composition, theater, or dance. Indeed, optimism propels students toward success, even when the objective seems large.

3.    Healthy Trust

When students value respect, cooperation, and communication, they begin to form robust friendships, enhancing their sense of belonging and boosting their chance of success.

Furthermore, students who practice active listening and self-control learn invaluable life lessons; as a result, they carry these constructive habits into their lives and careers as they encourage and motivate others along the way.

Indeed, leaders of industry, policy makers, and public servants all recognize the importance of sensible, practical, or nurturing relationships; without wise counsel, success is simply a dream, which is why students must develop these skills early.

  • At Marlborough, high school students have the chance to learn from wise, compassionate experts, including educators, advisors, counselors, and mentors. Marlborough’s teachers, for instance, work tirelessly to create sound connections with their students, urging them to set high standards that lead to success in school and life.

  • Marlborough students also forge enduring relationships in theater, dance, choir, debate, and robotics; yet, we don’t stop there. Our community gives young athletes every opportunity to do what they love; indeed, over 60% of the students participate in at least one team sport. Whether in class, on stage, or on the field, Marlborough students work together for a common goal, deepening their trust and building lifelong relationships.

4.    Confident Perseverance

Successful students exude confidence, even when facing adversity. Completing a difficult task requires patience and stamina; in other words, diligent students are resilient students.

As students persevere, they discover an inner strength that will carry them through uncertain times in their career and personal life.

Such grit demands concentration and an arsenal of problem-solving strategies, particularly if the problem is complex. While the process may take time, it nevertheless produces determination, fortitude, and resolve; all are qualities that adults need to succeed in life.

Since Marlborough seeks to develop the whole person, we offer courses and programs that develop dedication and flexibility:

  • High school students interested in technology can enroll in Computer Science Projects or Computer Science Projects Honors; these courses allow students to practice coding as they create computer graphics, video games, mini-computers, and wearable technology. Although students sometimes work independently, they often collaborate with team members to analyze data, create simulations, or develop web applications.

  • The Remote Car Club is an extracurricular activity that attracts students who enjoy engineering but who cannot devote time to a robotics course. Through fun, stimulating competitions, the club inspires students to engage in STEM activities, giving participants the opportunity to develop hands-on, problem-solving skills.

Indeed, Marlborough offers numerous opportunities for high school students to develop self-assurance and resilience, while improving their capabilities; they learn, then, how to be successful in school and life.

Why Choose Marlborough?  

Marlborough serves girls in grades 7 through 12. As a private, college-preparatory secondary school, we are conveniently located in the heart of Los Angeles, California.  

Our goal is to ignite intellectual inquiry and to build the problem-solving, creativity, collaboration, and communication skills that our students will need to innovate, invent, and lead in college and beyond.

Next Steps

If you want your daughter to become a curious, agile thinker, consider Marlborough. Our outstanding academic program, coupled with our student-teacher ratio and our commitment to diversity, can enrich your daughter’s high school experience as she prepares for college and beyond.

Want to know more about the Marlborough experience? 

Get in touch now

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