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How To Be Successful In College

By: Mariah Rogers
Aug 11, 2020 • 10 min read

How To Be Successful In College

Your college experience can be one whirlwind of 4 years. It might seem like you will never be able to tackle the challenges up against you, and that there is simply not enough time to enjoy every moment. While your academic classes should be your top priority, to get the full college experience, you must be a well-rounded and experienced student. Being successful in college is a very achievable goal. So, how does one tackle all of this in just 4 years? If you are new to the college lifestyle, or just trying to make the most of the time you have left on campus, keep reading.

woman reading book while sitting on chair

School Comes First 

Your academic classes must always be your top priority. It is easy for everything to fall apart once your grades start to slip, which can cause tension with your parents and financial aid worries. Once you’ve crafted a solid routine for your courses, go out and enjoy all that college has to offer! This can be done by implementing a strict school routine and being disciplined. Make it a routine to visit the library regularly, and have set study hours scheduled every single day.

Get organized by:

  • Investing in a planner and calendar to write down assignments
  • Book study rooms and private library spaces
  • Seek help from on-campus tutoring services
  • Visit the library for help with research

Office Hours

Building a relationship with each and every one of your professors is a crucial part of the college experience. These are professionals who are educated and experienced in the field in which you are interested. They are a wealth of knowledge, advice, and support during your academic career. So make sure to schedule time for visiting them in office hours! This can be used to catch up on assignments, ask questions, and get feedback on your performance inside and outside of the classroom. This is a great way to build a relationship with your professors and get a more enriched experience as a result of taking their course.

Branch Out

Extracurricular activities are not only vital for your resume, but for your overall enrichment and success on campus. Joining clubs, organizations, fraternities, and sororities on campus can help you network and even make friends. Explore interests through art clubs, student government, intermural sports, and much more can help you become a more well-rounded student—both inside and outside of the classroom. You might even meet your next roommate, dinner buddy, or study partner!

Branch out by:

  • Finding an on-campus job
  • Joining Greek-life
  • Becoming a member of a club or organization
  • Joining an intermural sport team
  • Join a fitness group
  • Explore Student Government
  • Give tours of your campus to potential student applicants

Practice Independence

College can be all people, all the time. This can be exhausting, especially if you are more of an introverted person. So, it is essential to make time for independent activities and learn how to spend time with yourself. This can be done through exercising at the gym, going for a solo walk around campus while listening to a favorite podcast, driving around your campus town, taking yourself out for coffee, or having a movie night alone. All of these activities translate into self-care, which is equally as important. Learning how to be independent and do things for yourself can be one of the most valuable lessons you take away from your college experience.

Apple AirPods near MacBook

It’s Okay To Say No

The lifestyle of a typical college student can be very hectic. There seems to always be a party, bingo night, theme night, or weekend trip that is being planned. Instead of attending every single activity you hear about, it is vital to learn how to say no. This will help you avoid burnout, and even come across friends who like to live at the same pace you do. You will find that by only doing the activities that really excite you, you are more likely to find a compatible group of friends to complement your college experience.

Stay Open

College will likely expose you to new experiences, people from all different backgrounds, and a variety of different places in your time as a student. Your campus is probably going to be much different than the small hometown you grew up in. While it is natural to stick with what you know and choose friends and activities that seem familiar, it is crucial to stay open. Take on new experiences with a clear mind and open heart!

Be Proactive

Being proactive is one of the most significant pieces of advice I can offer to incoming college students. Make sure to get all of your logistical responsibilities done before your move-in date. Trust me, once you arrive on campus, it’s going to be one of the busiest and most hectic times of your life!

Ways to be proactive:

  • Solidify your course schedule and registration
  • Pay all of your bills on-time
  • Order textbooks at least 2 weeks before your move-in date
  • Gather your must-have dorm necessities 
  • Have sufficient dining dollars pre-loaded into your student account

successful in college

Keep In Touch

Keeping in touch with loved ones from home is a great way to help ease your transition to living independently at college. Communicating with your family and friends will help keep you connected to the happenings at home and make you feel like your hometown is not so far away. Having the support of your loved ones is a valuable treasure, so make sure to preserve this connection!

Ways to stay in touch:

  • Schedule weekly phone calls
  • Write letters home
  • Join hometown social media groups
  • Make visits to your hometown once in a while
  • Video chat with relatives and loved ones

Achieving success in college can come with a high amount of pressure. However, these 4 years will fly by, so make the most of every moment! Utilize these tips to help you navigate your way to achieving big things.

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