Top 10 Tips for College Success

By Rachale Kelley

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Top 10 Tips for College Success

Success in high school doesn’t always result in success in college. College may be another learning environment, but there are considerable differences. Most of the professors aren’t overly concerned with your success. You’re expected to take responsibility for your own success. Classes also move along much more quickly.

Whether you’re starting college right after high school or going back to school to pursue a degree, these tips will help you.

Use these techniques for greater success in college:

  1. Choose your classes and professors wisely. If you’re attending a big university where the faculty is involved in research, the professors aren’t there because of their teaching skills. They’re there because of their ability to secure research grants. Do some research before you choose your schedule.
  2. Attend class regularly. You may not have studied in high school, but you will in college. It’s also imperative to attend classes. Professors emphasize the most important information in class. Skipping class will result in studying the wrong topics. You also might catch a break on your grade if your attendance has been excellent.
  • Ensure that you’re participating, too. Asking one intelligent question per day will ensure that you’re making a good impression on the professor.
  1. Make friends and get involved. You have a new life now with new people. Get involved in campus life so you feel at home. A few activities and friends will make you feel more at home. Increased comfort will make it easier to concentrate on your studies.
  2. Ask for help before you’re in serious trouble. All professors and teaching assistants have office hours. Make good use of them. Larger universities also have tutoring available, often for free. The sooner you ask for help, the less help you’ll need. You’ll also minimize your stress.
  1. Avoid being anonymous. Ensure that your professor knows who you are. The easiest way is to introduce yourself during the first couple of weeks during office hours. Make return visits every few weeks. And be sure to participate actively in class.
  2. Be on time. Most professors are sensitive to any signs of disrespect. Regular tardiness is disrespectful and can only harm you over the semester. Just be on time.
  3. Avoid falling behind. The pace is much faster in college. Once you fall behind, it can be very challenging to catch up. Avoid procrastinating. Begin writing papers and studying for tests early enough to do well.
  4. Focus on taking great notes. It’s hard to fail if you have good notes. It’s hard to do well if your notes are terrible. If the professor mentions it or writes it on the board, it’s imperative that you capture the information. Ask for any clarification during or after class. Guard your notes with your life.
  5. Set a schedule and follow it. You can do extremely well in college and still have a lot of free time if you plan your days wisely. Avoid wasting time. There’s no reason you can’t spend eight hours total per day in class and studying. That still leaves a lot of free time to do whatever you want.
  1. Understand the importance of getting good grades. Your first employer after graduation will be very interested in your academic record. If you wish to attend graduate or professional school, your grades will be critical. You’ll have more options if your grades are good.

College is a major investment of time and money. Make the most of your considerable investment. Show up to class, take good notes, and stay on top of your assignments. Establish beneficial habits early in the first semester and you should do well.

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About the Author

Bruce and Rachale Kelley empower families to be present in the lives of their children spiritually, emotionally, physically financially as they share their journey of how God has helped them while raising their son who has been diagnosed with Down Syndrome.

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