So after reading the title, you may be thinking to yourself, “what in the world is she talking about now?” And your question would be right—the title does require some explanation. Shower your way to college success is merely my way of saying no matter how busy it gets, you should still try to keep some routine in your life.
Archive for Success In College
I know this is simple advice for high school and college students, but get a planner. I could not live without mine, and by live, I mean I would have missed assignments, class and activities without it. They come in many different types, sizes, colors and themes. You can get them at your campus supply store emblazoned with your school logo and colors, you can get it at the local bookstore, or order it from your favorite clothing designer. Read more
Freshman year is over and it is time to begin the second year of college. Little do you know, but you are at a fork in the road. As the saying goes, “if you see a fork in the road…take it!” So what if you still don’t have the hang of college or did not get great grades in your freshman year. Maybe you do have the hang of classes, but that’s all you did and now you need to start getting involved to make yourself competitive for internships and eventually, jobs. It’s not too late. Employers and graduate schools are looking for upward trends, so set a goal to do better this year than you did last year.
It’s midnight, maybe later. You’re beat. You’ve just survived a day that included 4 hours of classes, 4 hours at your job, 4 hours of studying, and an hour-long meeting of the architecture club. In between, you went for a run and had a couple of unsavory meals. No wonder you’re beat.
When I was younger, my mom always told me that “attitude is everything.” I didn’t like it when she said that because it was her not-so-subtle way of telling me I was out of line. But as I have gotten older, I now realize just how true that statement is. One of the most amazing things I have observed in life is that those who have a good outlook on things seem to be pretty happy. Sure, not everything is going their way, but they are happy about the stuff that is and are trying to make changes for the better every day. And, on the other hand, those I see who think that everything “sucks” (read with a giant sigh directed toward the world in general) are usually right. So what’s the difference between the satisfied person and the Debbie Downer? Attitude.
Sure you’re smart. But can you prove it?
“Judgment Day” is coming – the day when you sit across the interview table from a potential employer. You’ll have 30 minutes or so to make a favorable impression on the interviewer, an impression strong enough to lead to additional interviews or even a job offer. Let’s face it, it’s a big deal.
Change, while it can be exciting, can also be hard. Especially when it comes to study habits. High school, not college, is the place to create great study skills so you can have them ready when you get to college. Sure, everyone studies differently, but one thing is for sure—you need to study and you need to do it without distractions. Some people might be able to study with music or the TV on, but others cant’. High school, not college, is the time to learn what you can and cannot do. You don’t want to be in college and get so distracted when your roommate turns on the TV that you lose hours of study time when you should instead know to just go to the library where it is quiet and distraction-free.
Everyone has their ideas of what will lead to college success. Here is my two cents worth.
1. Communication is Key- Whether with professors, roommates, or student organization members, communication can help solve problems or diffuse tense situations.
2. All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy- Don’t be like the Shining—don’t make yourself go insane. College is about enjoyment and education. Enjoy each in moderation.
3. Study…Everyday…for Every Subject- If you do, it will save you from a lot of cramming. You will be able to participate in class discussions and just generally feel smart.
4. Be Like Burger King- In college, like at Burger King, you can have it your way. But as Bon Qui Qui says, “but don’t make it too crazy.”- The same is true for college. Don’t be too crazy whether it is in your personal life, how you care for yourself, or in academic life. Moderation is key in all things.
5. Find a Mentor- Find an upperclassman you respect who can help you with everything from how to choose classes to how to become involved in organizations. And when you become an upperclassman, be a mentor to an underclassman. Also, find a faculty or staff mentor. Someone with depth and breadth of experience can help guide you in the right direction, can be a wealth of knowledge, and can provide a great letter of recommendation as you try to get a job or get into grad school.
6. Get Involved, but Not Over-involved- Whatever you do, commit yourself fully to it. Making a difference in one organization looks a lot better than just paying dues to several.
7. Take Care of Yourself Physically- What you eat, how much you sleep, how often you exercise, etc. can all have a big effect on how you feel and how you perform in the classroom and in your extracurricular activities. Similar to the new Cookie Monster mantra, “cookies are a sometimes food,” pizza should also be a sometimes food, despite the fact that you see depictions of college students eating it every meal of the day. I’m pretty sure you might die if you tried that.
8. Take Care of Yourself Mentally- Know when to take a study break, but don’t let that study break last two months. Maintain a proper balance between academic rigor and brainless activities like playing video games with your roommates or whatever you like to do to de-stress.
9. Get to Know Your Campus and Your Community- You will feel like you fit in more if you know more about where you are. Are you on a historic campus and is there a class you can take about campus history? Do it. Does the city where your college is located offer haunted city tours at Halloween? Go on one. The more you feel a part of the community, the more you will like the experience.
10. Don’t Lose Yourself- Sure we all change in college, but make sure it is for the better. Don’t lose sight of who you are in a sea of new people and experiences.
What are YOUR top 5 college success secrets? We’ve been sharing our college success tips with you, but now it’s your turn. We’re challenging current college students, parents, and educators to give us their thoughts on college success!
So want to give us your opinions? Email me– grace (at) makecollegecount (dot) com. If we like your submission, we’ll post it right here on the College Success Blog! (Please note: all submissions will be screened for appropriateness for the site)
We look forward to sharing your collective wisdom!