It’s that time of year again! Time to celebrate the end of winter and get back to school. If you have a student in your life, chances are they’re getting ready to hit the books (and since you’re reading this blog, you probably are too).
Success in college is a combination of hard work, dedication, and good decision-making. When you’re not sure how to be successful in college, it can be easy to get off track. If you want to learn how to be successful in college.
Have you ever wondered how some students take to college life like ducks to water, while others struggle? Some students are able to immediately find a group of friends and become involved in campus activities, while others spend their time miserable and lonely.
But you don’t have to be a student to learn from them. By understanding the habits of the most successful students, we can all learn how to become better learners.
Here are seven tips we can steal from college students:
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1. They have a daily routine
Students who manage to do well in school have a daily routine that keeps them on track.
They don’t rely solely on discipline and motivation to keep them going. They have a routine that helps to keep them motivated and focused on their studies.
A routine will help you get into a state of mind where you are ready for studying. It will also help you focus because you will have distractions out of the way and won’t be worrying about what you have to do next.
Your routine doesn’t need to belong it can be done in as little as 30 minutes a day. But it should be effective enough that it helps you get into the right frame of mind for studying.
Here’s a simple routine you can use:
- Wake up early
- Get some exercise, even if it’s just a short walk around the block or up and down the stairs a few times
- Eat breakfast and make sure you eat something healthy like eggs or oatmeal, not just a pastry or sugary cereal
- Take some time to think about what you want to accomplish today
- Schedule your day so that you know exactly what you’re going to do and when you’re going to do it
- Get started with your studies
- Set aside at least two hours for reading,
2. They network
Networking is not just for marketing people and sales executives. It might sound intimidating to you, but networking is simply a process of building relationships with other people.
Successful students make time to build relationships with their classmates, professors, administrators, and others at their school, even if it means giving up a few hours of study time here or there. They attend campus events and join clubs to meet new people who share common interests.
They establish relationships with professors who can speak on their behalf when it comes time to apply for internships or jobs. If they don’t know what they want to do after graduation, they ask professors and administrators for advice. Or they reach out to individuals in their networks who are doing what they think they might want to do after graduation.
If you’re looking for a summer internship or part-time job while you’re in school, you should consider networking as your most efficient way of finding opportunities. You’re much more likely to land your dream internship through an in-person introduction than by sending out resumes over the Internet.
It’s never too early to start networking! Make an effort now, while you’re still in college.
3. They pay attention in class
One of the most important things you can do to help ensure your success in college is to attend class. You are a full-time student, not just someone who’s paying tuition for a part-time job. As an active participant in class, you will learn more about your subject matter and improve your writing and thinking skills.
Although it seems obvious that you should go to class, many students skip classes. This can lead to poor grades, academic probation, and even expulsion from school. If you miss more than one out of every four classes, your grade may be lowered one letter grade, or you may fail the course entirely. Some classes have strict attendance policies, such as those in which participation is a part of the final grade, while others simply expect that students will attend regularly.
If you have difficulty attending all of your classes because of work or another obligation, try talking with your professors or TA’s at the beginning of the semester to let them know about your situation. They may be able to help you balance your schedule so that you can still attend classes without jeopardizing your educational goals or job responsibilities.
4. They use their resources
Successful college student uses the resources to their advantage. The successful college student seeks out the help that is needed to be successful in college. Successful college students know that they are not alone and that there are resources available to them. The successful college student knows how to utilize the resources and where to find them.
The successful student is organized. They know that being organized is imperative to being a successful college student. Being organized helps you keep track of your assignments, projects, events, and appointments. The organized student keeps everything together in one place, which includes calendars and notebooks or binders for each class with dividers for notes, quizzes, tests, and homework assignments.
They also have a system for keeping track of due dates of projects, papers, and exams so that nothing falls through the cracks, and because of this, they do not miss deadlines for assignments or tests.
If a student has this organizational skill down then it will be easier for them to succeed in college because they will be able to keep up with all their assignments due dates and when things are due as well as remember what needs to be done on an assignment or project without having a lot of stress about forgetting something important or missing deadline for an assignment or project.
5. They don’t wait until the last minute to finish assignments
They get their work done in a timely fashion and have time to relax, socialize, and do other things.
They’re not afraid to ask questions. When they’re confused about an assignment, they don’t sit around hoping it will become clear. Active students ask questions of their professors (either during class or during office hours) and of their classmates.
Understand that college is a time for exploring different classes, not just the ones they already know they like. Take a wide range of classes at first so that they can discover what they enjoy studying the most before declaring a major.
They attend every class unless there’s an emergency or contagious illness. They know that if they want to succeed in college, showing up is important; even if the professor doesn’t take attendance, showing up makes it more likely that students will learn something from the class.
They speak up in class and participate in discussions because they know that doing so makes the class more interesting for both them and their classmates.
Keep track of assignments by writing them down in an agenda or planner instead of relying on their memories.
They give themselves enough time to write papers instead of trying to do them all at the last minute.
6. They respect their professors
A student who respects his/her professor is far more likely to be successful in college. When a student makes a conscious effort to respect their professor, it changes the dynamics of the classroom and makes learning much more enjoyable
The first reason is that most students who respect their professors are eager and willing to learn. This is important because a student must have an interest in learning before they can even begin to comprehend information. Students who do not respect their professors usually do not want to listen and learn from them. In other words, they cannot be taught by someone they do not care for or respect
Another reason why students should respect their professors is that it will help them succeed academically in the classroom. The more respectful a student is, the better grades he or she will receive. This is because when you show respect for your professor, he or she has no choice but to take notice of you
If your professor knows you respect him or her, he or she will want to reward you for it. Giving you extra credit on your assignments, it shows that he or she values your opinion and respects what you have to say as well.
7. They know what they want
Getting ready for college is an exciting time, but it can also be a challenging time. The transition from high school to college requires a lot of planning, preparation, and – let’s face it – hard work.
Student Success Centers, or SSCs for short, offer students a variety of tools and resources to help them succeed in college. The centers are currently located on all three campuses – Maple Woods, Penn Valley, and Longview — and provide services outside the classroom that support students academically, personally, and financially.
“Our goal is to provide students with the best possible experience during their college career,” said Annette Kirksey-Sanders, SSC coordinator at Penn Valley. “We want them to be successful not only while they’re in school, but also when they transfer or enter the workforce after graduation.”
There is a difference between “going to college” and being a successful student. You can get straight A’s, take every advance placement class there is, and join every club and activity in your college, but if you aren’t working hard – it won’t matter. Success in college is determined by how much work you’re willing to put in aside from your studies and the way you choose to spend your time during downtime.
Above all, college is about getting a good education. If you want to succeed in college, you have to put the time and effort into your studies. Focus on figuring out what it is that you like first before deciding what you want to major in. It can be easy to get caught up in the idea of looking good on paper once high school ends, but your college degree is not an end – it’s a beginning.