Maybe you’re a freshman with no idea where your academic interests lie. Or a sophomore planning to change majors. Or a junior thinking about dropping some classes because they cut into practice time for your new band. Or a senior with a serious case of indecision. Whatever your situation, you may be considering adding a fifth year to your program.
Tag Archive for college success tips
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
Making College Count author Patrick O’Brien shares advice about how to achieve college success both inside and outside the classroom.
You’re working on college success but you need an internship to be in a position to get a job. Be creative and you can put yourself ahead of your classmates.
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.
How do you get something you want from a family member or friend? Whether you realize it or not, you use what you know about that person’s interests, values, and motivation. You make a deal with your parents by offering something you know they value. You get your roommate to drive you to class by promising to help her with an assignment she’s been dreading. When you understand what makes someone tick, you’re much more likely to get what you want from that person. It’s not manipulation, just a great survival skill.
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.