With all of its chaos and emotion, the month of August can also bring refreshing and positive memories to social media feeds with the start of the new school year. For college students and parents alike, those emotions can be mixed, as it’s a time of independence and growth.
This year I entered my 20th year working with college students in some form. In the past, it’s been as an advisor or student orientation leader, and to be honest, I’ve even worn the mascot costume before.
Classes began for us this week, but students across the country have been moving in since the beginning of the month. I have two younger cousins who are embarking on this journey themselves and my hope for their success is no different than that of the students I see every day.
Because I tend to think I’m hipper than I actually am, I decided not to post my own thoughts on college student success, but instead to post a question on Facebook and post the responses here. Believe it or not, I agree with every single one of them!
- Get involved with the Student Life Office!!
- Find a mentor.
- Always ask questions.
- Keep your eye on your goals, it will help you make sound choices.
- If you live in the dorm, be active on your floor and get to know everyone.
- Keep a calendar with both study time and fun time.
- Volunteer in your major field to see if this is what you really want to do. If not, you still have time to change your major before investing in those subject area classes.
- 6. Get to know each of your professors at the beginning of the semester and not at the end of the semester.
- Find the balance of academics and activities
- Expect the unexpected
- Surround yourself with like minded people
- Calm down and embrace the challenges…there will be many but never give up
- Make an effort to befriend an international student. Learning about other cultures is a way of learning about yourself as a human being.
- Have fun.
- Remember that you are grown now.
- Go to class.
- Learn the order of protocol for your department.
- Be on time.
- Do well in class.
- Don’t party too much or too hard.
- Be observant and pick good friends.
- Remember your end goal is a degree.
- Learn to build your network for now and into your future. It’s not all about what you know, but who you know.
- Do a walk-thru of the locations of your classes.
- Know your resources and connect to at least one of them (i.e. Student Life, Multicultural Center, Women’s Center, etc..)
- Make sure your instructor knows who you are.
- Don’t worry about the haters
- Know your counselor, get involved in campus activities
- Take your year book picture (if they have yearbooks)
- Make sure you visit the career center beginning your first year.
- It will go by fast…stick with it!
- Find a financial mentor.
- Set a strong academic direction for yourself…but don’t feel utterly bound to it should you discover it’s not where your passion is after all.
- Studies come first!
- You are there to learn a lot!
- You are there to have fun!
- Make wise decisions by thinking “what would my mom or dad do?
- Ask questions.
- Don’t take any of those credit card offers!!
- Your experience is what YOU make of it. You can get whatever you want out of whichever college you attend but YOU have to make it happen.
- Be organized
- Keep your college email inbox clean.
- Listen to your mother.
- Embrace your new environment.
- Build relationships with positive leaders.
- Set Goals.
- Mistakes will occur, learn from them and don’t repeat.
- Save your money also to find a book swapping program on campus or online
- Consider choosing a double major.
- Do you! Don’t let others negatively influence you. Hang out with other students who are focused and on a mission.
- Watch out for the freshman 15.
- Professors can and will withdraw you from their classes if you become a distraction.
- Enjoy these years!
- Be patient with yourself.
- Keep up with your work.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Know your professors – by that I mean analyze what they are looking for in your written work and in class participation and then give it to them.
- Create a schedule to assign a time for everything you do. Exampes, how long will you sleep, study, have fun, significant other, etc….
- DO NOT let that first time taste of FREEDOM make you lose your mind.
- READ THE SYLLABUS!
- Build Positive Relationships
- Self Advocate
- Buy your textbooks online.
- Eat healthy
- Make time to exercise
- Don’t be afraid to have an undeclared major for the first year
- Treat College like your most important job
- Be a team player,
- Create a calendar for assignments and due dates,
- Treat everyone with respect,
- Participate in class.
- Be mentally and physically present,
- Maximize this investment in yourself
- Get to know all of your professors so they can get to know you!
- Call your mom
- Be careful who you call your friend.
- Do not drop your classes!
- Do not procrastinate!
- Build a good relationship with the professor before the end of the semester.
- Find a buddy and study.
- Pray, stay focused, and keep your eyes on the prize of graduation and not partying!!!
- It’s ok to feel lost. How you deal with that feeling will define who you are.
- Pray and put God first.
- Remember that you have to self discipline yourself now
- If someone bullies youmake sure to tell someone so they can get to the bottom of it
- Take one week at a time and if you have to take one class assignment at a time.
- Enjoy the learning journey…learning about yourself, learning about other perspectives and learning HOW to learn
- Don’t enroll in too many classes!
- Set multiple alarms to wake up so you don’t miss your classes
- Be you.
- Go to the writing center or the tutoring center.
- Go to class!
- Don’t be afraid to: fail and change your mind.
- Believe in yourself.
- Don’t prolong graduation because student loans are not a joke.
- The most lasting lessons are those we learn from experience.
- Be safe.
- Jump in with both feet.
- Take advantage of the opportunities available to you.
- Try new things.
- Do NOT give up; keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Here’s to a great semester and an even better college career!