What makes a student successful? Is it natural ability or well-developed study skills? The first place to begin answering this question is to define success. Merriam-Webster defines success as "the correct or desired result of an attempt" . Therefore, success does not mean a straight-A student. Success is a measure of whether or not your attained your personal goal. The standard you create for yourself may not necessarily be explicit in the letter grade you obtain.
While attending college for my bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering, I met three types of students. They all had the same definition of success: they wanted to complete the coursework and be awarded their degree. Each student's journey to success was a little different:
The Late Bloomer: didn't push themselves in high school but became more engaged in coursework once they entered college.
The Overcomer: had a learning disability but didn't let that limit their passion.
The High Achiever: always excelled in academics and continued to do so in college.
I graduated alongside all three of these students, and each of our academic journeys varied greatly. Some of us graduated with honors, some of us got a few C's, but ultimately we were successful because we graduated. Now, academic success is not exclusive from your actual academic efforts. All three of these students had to work hard in their pursuit of success, but that success was not solely dependent on the letter grade they obtained. Letter grades are important, since they couldn't have graduated if they were below college expectations, but they didn't all need A's either. So what did they need?
Grit is not letting obstacles get in your way. You become creative and dig deep to find ways to be successful despite challenges. This is what makes you try a new study method after failing a test.
Discipline is the ability to focus your motivation and grit on a specific objective. You know what you want and what you need to do to get there. This is what makes you ensure you have the foundational pieces to achieve your goal.
Work on these behaviors if you want to become a successful student. Find you motivation, and develop your grit and discipline. If you focus on that there is nothing to stop your from reaching your goals.
 Merriam-Webster. Web. Accessed 22 Aug 2016