12 Tips for Succeeding at College

12 Tips for Succeeding at College
  • Opening Intro -

    You don't attend college planning to flunk out or quit, right?

    Well, if every student was of the mindset of finishing what he or she started, then we'd see graduation rates shoot through the roof.

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You can succeed at college — here is how.

1. Let’s face it: you really do not know what it takes to succeed at college, especially when you’re just starting out. Early in your freshmen year, make a point to visit with your college advisor, an individual whose goal it is to see that you succeed at college and to finish what you have started.

2. Declare your major. Your college advisor can help you here. As soon as you’re sure about your major, declare it. By declaring your major, you can start looking for and taking the classes you will need for graduation. You’ll also avoid wasting time and money by taking classes that won’t count toward your degree.

3. Know your campus. Familiarize yourself with your college campus. Find the library, check out your academic buildings, get to know where register, bursar and other administrative offices are located. You’ll be visiting each of these locations time and again. so make the trek early to avoid getting lost later.

4. Get to classes. Make a point to attend every class unless you are sick. Miss a class and you’ll fall behind. Fall behind and your grades will suffer. It is as simple as that!

5. Listen and get involved. Your professors have much to say, information that you should absorb. But, don’t stop there — participate in class discussions, ask questions and get to really know your material.

6. Start your assignments early. As soon as you get your assignments, start them. Write out your outline, begin your research, start the ball rolling. The sooner you start, the less rushed you will feel later on. Rush through your work and your grades will suffer.

7. Be thorough with your research. Guess what? The habits you develop and advance in college will stay with you for the next 30, 40 or 50 years. Learn how to research, verify your material and be thorough. Good habits developed now will be reflected in exemplary grades and better job offers throughout your career.

8. Get help when you need it. You know that you’ll hit some rough patches while in college. Some will be expected, others unforeseen. If you’re running into trouble, your college advisor can help. Don’t turn down a referral or a recommendation to a college counseling service if one is offered.

9. Ask your family for help. You’re not going through college entirely by yourself. Your family is your biggest support and should be apprised of your progress. When the chips are down your family and close friends are those that will be there when you need them.

10. Make good use of your time. Plan your time wisely and you’ll have time to do things besides your school work. In tip No. 6 we looked at starting your assignments early. You can also plan out your entire semester, making use of a planner or a smart phone app to track your assignments.

11. Be responsible. It is easy to get pulled in different directions while at college. Peer pressure. Drinking. Sexual activity. Illicit drugs. Poor diet habits. Students that simply do not care. Keep your eyes on the prize — in this case your college degree — and what it can mean for you the rest of your life. Yes, it is that important.

12. Have fun. All work and no play makes for a very dull college student. You can tackle that assignment another time, so get outside and play. Join a club. Take in a sporting event. Meet with friends: Just. Have. Fun.

College Success

How do you measure college success? Is it making the dean’s list? Or could be a smaller accomplishment such as finishing a difficult assignment, completing a term paper or passing a class you did not like? Regardless, we may measure success differently, but ultimately your success will come in pieces and when put together can help you accomplish your goal of finishing college. Stay the course — it is worth it!

See Also12 Foundational Tips for College Freshmen

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