Succeeding in College
Just as in elementary school through high school, your success in
college requires high motivation and effort, strong study
skills, effective time management, and good
test-taking strategies. But college success requires
much more. Once you move from high school to college, you will
generally find that students are more motivated and competent than
in high school; teachers are more demanding; the work is more
difficult; and students are expected to be independent. Further, if
you are living away from home for the first time, you will have many
Here are some ideas
that will help you succeed in college:
Have Clear Goals
requires commitment and a lot of hard work. You must be very certain
about the importance of a college education.
- Be clear about
why you are going to college.
specific goals you wish to accomplish.
- Know what it
will take to reach these goals.
- Be certain
your goals are consistent with your interests and abilities.
- Be flexible -
change your goals if needed based on your experience as you
progress through college.
Get Financial Aid
expensive. Even if you attend a public college or university and
live at home, you still must pay for tuition, fees, and books. There
are many sources of financial aid that can help you meet the high
costs of college. Become aware of and pursue these sources.
- Consider all
possible sources of financial aid in addition to your college's
financial aid office.
- Meet all
deadlines for submitting applications and documentation.
quickly and completely to all requests for additional
- Be persistent
in following up your application.
- If you do
receive financial aid, meet all requirements to keep and
continue your aid.
Manage Your Money
- There are many
ways to spend money in the college setting for other than
education purposes. Take steps to ensure that you do not waste
the money set aside for your college education.
- Set a budget
and keep to it.
- Be careful
about your use of credit cards. Don't overspend. Pay balances
promptly to avoid high interest costs.
- Open a
checking account and carefully monitor your balance.
- Keep your cell
phone under control. Those minutes and fees can really add up.
and Emotionally Healthy
You will need to be
at your best to succeed in college. This means taking care of your
body and maintaining a good frame of mind.
- Get enough
- Don't rely on
coffee and drinks that contain high doses of caffeine to provide
you with energy. Foods such as pasta, peanut butter, non-sugar
cereals, and fresh fruit are healthy alternatives to provide the
energy you need.
- Avoid junk
foods. Fast food is convenient but usually not good for you.
- Use the
services of the student health office. These services typically
include emergency treatment, low cost examinations, and low cost
or free medication.
- Use the
services of the counseling office. The professionals there can
help you overcome feelings of loneliness, depression, and
Choose a Professor
In college you get
to select your schedule of classes. Most classes offer more than one
section so that you can choose not just the day and time, but the
professor who is teaching that section. Often you will find student
ratings of professors on the Internet. You can get even more
feedback by talking to other students. Try to choose a professor who
demonstrates the following characteristics.
adequate office hours.
- Adapts to
different styles of learning.
- Grades fairly.
- Is highly
competent in the subject being taught.
clear and reasonable requirements.
- Provides a
positive learning environment.
Work With Your
As a student you
will be assigned a faculty advisor to help you with both academic
and career issues. It is up to you to get the most out of this
- Know your
advisor's office location, schedule of office hours, and contact
- Schedule an
appointment with your advisor at any time you have problems that
affect your academic performance.
- Consider your
advisor's ideas when selecting your major or at any time you are
considering changing your major or career goals.
- Have specific
questions in mind whenever meeting with your advisor.
Make Good Use of
You are going to
spend a lot of your time in college at the library. Take full
advantage of this major resource.
- Get to know
the resources of the library as soon as you get to college.
- Learn to use
its computer resources and card catalogs.
- Make good use
of its equipment such as copy machines, microfiche readers,
production facilities, etc.
- Check out its
quiet study areas. Sign up for their use if required.
Get Involved in
There is a lot more
to college than just classes. A college campus is an exciting,
dynamic environment that can provide you with many opportunities for
enhancing your college experience.
- Join a student
organization that is consistent with your interests. You will
find many organizations from which to choose.
- Join a club in
your major. This can not only help you in your studies but can
provide contacts that may be very useful in your future career.
- Join an
intramural team. This is a great way to keep yourself in good
physical shape and make new friends.
- Attend social
events. Your college experience should not be all work and no
success in college takes effort. But this effort will
provide benefits to you throughout your life. The ideas presented
above can help you to make your college experience a successful one.