Continuing our series of ways to increase the value of your campus visit, here is part three of how to make the most of your college visit, the non-traditional way.
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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.
To be as successful as you can be academically, it’s not enough that you study. You need to make good decisions as to where and when you study. Let’s focus on where.
At the risk of boring you with common sense or sounding like somebody’s mom, let’s first talk about where not to study. Anywhere there is a TV, talking, loud music, or a lot of movement can be quickly eliminated. Let’s face it. You’re not that fired up about Statistics. You probably enjoy it about as much as a trip to the dentist. Given that, you’ll settle for just about any distraction possible to pull your head out of your notes. Said another way, if you study any place where you can be distracted, you will be. And that means one of two things: either you won’t do well on the exam, or you’re going to spend a whole lot more time studying for it than you would have otherwise.
If you haven’t tried the library, I’d highly recommend it. Find an out-of-the-way corner and plan to stay for a while. Just avoid the “Social Section,” the area where hordes of “C” students gather for literally hours at a time to talk about how unprepared they are for the exam tomorrow. You’ll know the “Social Section” when you see it. Avoid it like the plague.
Get serious. Focus on what you’re doing so you can maximize your results with a minimum amount of effort. No friends, no phones, and no potential candidates for a big date on Saturday night.
You’ll get your studying done faster and then be able to concentrate on these other highly important issues.
Picture with me a not-so-unimaginable scenario. Your caller ID tells you that your college-age son or daughter is calling. You are ecstatic because he or she does not always remember to call as often as you would like. But after the little niceties that begin your conversation, your college student asks you for money. It’s time to join campus organizations and they need a wad of cash to cover all the dues. Read more
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!
If choosing a major isn’t tough enough, what about a minor? Minors are not available in all programs, but where they are offered, they open one more opportunity to differentiate your academic record from those of your classmates and make college count.
The greatest impact of a minor is that it allows you to demonstrate your interest and proficiency in more than one subject. If you’re a Computer Science major with an Ecology minor, you project a very different image than if you took only technical courses. The Ecology minor tells prospective employers that you can do much more than crunch code. Read more