Tips For Succeeding In College
Going away to college is one of the most exciting times in a young person’s life. It’s also one of the most frightening for their parents.
Along with the immediate freedom leaving home will bring, a greater amount of responsibility follows. Although statistics vary from school to school, each college experiences a certain amount of freshman dropouts each year; the reasons are dependent on numerous factors. This is why it’s important to get the best college freshman advice possible to avoid being a statistic in this category.
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Ask anyone who is currently attending or has already graduated from college, and it’s more than likely that they would agree there should be a handbook that dispenses tips for being a successful college student. We looked through some tips from a variety of sources and streamlined them into the following dozen ideas for succeeding in your first year of college.
1. Always attend your classes. Even if the professor says attendance is not required. Go!
2. If there is a freshman study habits or time management class offered, take it. Yes, even if it provides zero credits it will be worth it. Time management is something that all students and even professionals struggle with at some point in life.
3. After your class is over, review your notes. During class you may be writing feverishly and that can lead to hard-to-read handwriting. The best time to review and fix what you’ve written is when everything is still fresh in your mind. If you have the time, type out your notes – this doubles as studying.
4. Buy your text books. Text books are expensive and some professors do not teach out of them directly. But they do test from them and that is why there is assigned reading.
5. Find extracurricular activities to get involved with. Whether you choose to get involved with student government, the school newspaper or you want to go Greek, activities are a really good way to meet new people on campus and keep busy.
6. If you need to work or decide to work, do not take on too many hours. Students who assume too many outside responsibilities from their classwork tend to miss classes, not get papers in on time and do poorly on their tests.
7. Get to know your professors. This is not about “brown nosing,” this is about getting to know the person who is teaching your class and someone you may carry a relationship with throughout your academic career. It’s called networking. Your professors can be some of the most helpful people to help launch your career.
8. Stress management. It’s OK to admit if you are feeling overwhelmed. Your college will have trained and supportive staff to help you cope.
9. Understand your loans. Do not just sign across the dotted line. Your loans will be hanging out with you and your credit for the next couple of decades, if not more.
10. Ask for help. If you’re struggling with something in one of your courses, talk to your professor and see if tutoring or a study group is available.
11. Get regular sleep. Without proper sleep you won’t be functioning at a high enough level and everything from your grades to your health will suffer.
12. College is not an extension of high school! You might have been able to fly under the radar staying up late having fun and then going to school the next day, but you need to be “present” in your classes. Participation is usually part of your grade whether the professor mentions it or not. And no party is worth a failing grade.
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There’s also a flip side to all of this, which are the things college students should not do in their first year. Here are five such items.
1. Go barefoot in the shower. It’s very easy to catch a foot fungus or worse. Do not enter the community shower without flip flops on. Even if you share a shower with one other room, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
2. Use your meal plan card excessively. Your meal card is not a credit card to buy food for all of your friends. It actually has a limit and can run out of credits, and then you’ll be left with figuring out how to replenish it.
3. Get a credit card and spend recklessly. CollegeGeekInfo.com recommends that you get a credit card to help boost your credit, but if you cannot pay your balance in full for even one month, tear the card up. [Note: Closing the card actually does more harm to your credit than not using it.]
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4. Skip class. Yes, this is a repeat from above. But it cannot be stressed enough, do not skip class, because you could miss something vital for a test or miss knowing about an assignment that will count as a grade.
5. Wait to register for classes. It’s a good idea to meet with your academic advisor a few weeks before registration opens. Once it does, you will need to register as soon as possible, because there will be hundreds more vying to get into those classes; having backups chosen is also advisable.