10 Tips for Success

  1. Introduce yourself to others.
    Make a point of introducing yourself to your professors so they know who you are. Introduce yourself to someone in the student cafeteria. It’s a great way to start your day when someone tells you good morning and calls you by name.
  2. Join a club or get involved in an activity on campus, whether it is volunteering somewhere or even a part time job. 
    It allows you to meet people who like some of the things that you like and perhaps have similar interests.
  3. Find out who your advisor is and get to know them. 
    Make a point of stopping by their office so you know where it is and when you have questions or concerns about your academics (or even a personal problem) talk to them. Don’t be a nuisance but don’t be afraid to seek out their advice. That’s why they call them advisors.
  4. Prioritize your life. 
    You made a decision to go to college and get a degree. Think about what you need to do that and prioritize your life accordingly. You will have a variety of responsibilities while attending college – everything from having to do your own laundry, cleaning your dorm room (or apartment), eating, a part-time job perhaps, classes, homework, meetings, and friends who want to spend time with you. All are important but what is the most important may change from day to day.  Time management is essential for success in college and in life.
  5. Buy a calendar or planner to keep information recorded all in one place. 
    Write in all your assignment deadlines, exams, times you work, important dates (like when there is no school or a particular class is going to be cancelled) and keep this with you all the time. It’s important to write everything in one place and keep it with you. If you have a desk calendar in your dorm room, post it notes or reminders written in notebook margins and nothing is really organized, you are going to miss important deadlines. Be organized.
  6. GO TO CLASS!!! 
    If you don’t go to class you won’t get important information you need about the course material as well as any changes the instructor might make in assignments or the time table that assignments are due. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE!!
  7. Do your homework ahead of time. 
    When you go to class make sure that you have read the material for that day’s lecture before hand. It will make the information much easier to understand in the lecture and if you have any questions the lecture will likely clear up your confusion.
  8. Make sure that your assignments that are to be handed in are done and ready to hand in on the due date. 
    It’s too easy to miss a deadline and then completely forget about the assignment or project because you will have ongoing assignments that will keep coming due. Once you get behind it is very difficult to catch up.  If you do get behind be sure to talk to the instructor. Let them know what is going on. Talk to your advisor if you continue to have trouble meeting deadlines.
  9. Buy a different colored notebook and folder for each class. 
    For example, for Biology you could have a green notebook and green folder. Keep all your class notes in the notebook (and make sure you take it to class every day) and keep any handouts, assignments, syllabus, etc. in the folder. Keep them together.  For math have a yellow notebook and folder, etc. Take both items with you to class and be sure to take your book with you.  (I have had some students that for every class their books are all two or three inches thick and they found it too cumbersome to carry the textbook for all their classes. In this case we had them take a couple of books but the chapters for other courses. Take the photo copied chapter to class with you, make your notes and highlight information then transfer it to your text book later.)
  10. Take good notes during lectures. 
    Don’t think just because you are sitting there that you will remember what is said. At the end of class you should take a few minutes and review your notes from that day’s lecture so that if you missed something you can write it down. After you attend another lecture you won’t remember what you missed from the previous lecture. It’s important to stay on top of this.