8 Tips for Succeeding in College

1. Set goals and priorities. With competing responsibilities, it's easy to get overwhelmed. Deciding what you want to achieve academically and personally will help you prioritize your time and efforts to achieve your goals. Think short and long term.

a. Long term- What are you trying to do post-graduation? What can you do now to get there? These are the goals you're striving to achieve to have the life and career you want in five years, in ten years...  

b. Short term- What do you want to get out of this current semester? A 4.0 GPA, a 3.0 GPA? Do you want to achieve a better balance academically, personally, and professionally? These are the goals you can fulfill now.

2. Plan. Once you've signed up for courses and committed to clubs or organizations, you have a thorough understanding of your schedule. Use an agenda or online system to track your time commitments to see where you have open times to devote to self-care, social activities, studying, eating, etc. It may at first seem silly to pre-plan times when you'll eat or study, but it'll keep you organized.

3. Go to class, every class. It's the best way to stay up-to-date on course teachings and happenings. Unlike in K-12, you lose money you paid to receive instruction and education by skipping classes. Communicate with your instructor when you have to miss class and have a go-to classmate to get notes from after an absence.

4. Go to class prepared. Do the reading so you know what's being discussed or taught. If you don't understand the concept to be covered in class, prepare specific questions. Be able to show your instructor you're engaged and you've tried.

5. Do homework. If the teacher requires it, just do it.

6. Engage in your learning. Don't just show up to class or study sessions. Implement or question what you're learning so you can retain and expand on the information.

7. Utilize classmates. Choose your friends wisely; make sure they're encouraging you in your academics. Identify students that make good study partners. Study with students who do well in class and are committed to learning.

8. Talk to the most important person in each of your classes--the instructor. The sooner you get to know your instructor and engage him or her inside AND outside the classroom, the better your student experience will be. Don't hesitate to talk to or ask your professor a question; they're there for you.  


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