Seven Tips for a Successful Semester

Over the years, students have told me they didn’t believe they could succeed in college. Some even delayed going to college because they didn’t believe in themselves. Soon after enrolling, though, they found they could be successful and college was one of the greatest experiences of their lives.

So, how did they do it? There’s really no secret plan or mystery behind it. You have to want it, be committed and do what needs to be done. Sometimes, when the going gets tough, people lose their motivation and are tempted to give up. But don’t! If that happens, remember these tips.

  1. Go to class. This seems like a no-brainer, but showing up is very important, even if your class is online. Participation counts because it shows you’re interested in doing well, and faculty members notice.
  2. Get to know your professors. They are here to help you, and they want to help you. Just ask!
  3. Meet with an advisor early and often. I can’t stress this enough. Work with your advisor so you stay on track.
  4. Ask for help if you are struggling in a class. Take advantage of tutoring or other programs that are there for you.
  5. Get involved. Joining organizations and participating in campus events make college more enjoyable. It’s tempting to go to class and then go home, but your college experience will be better if you make new friends.
  6. Be careful with student loans. Don’t borrow more than you need. There is a day of reckoning. Did you know that defaulting on student loans ruins your credit score? Or that even if you file bankruptcy, you are still required to pay student loans? Borrowing money for college is a serious commitment. Treat it that way.
  7. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Yes, some classes will be more challenging than others. Yes, you have other commitments that infringe on your classwork time. But you can do this! Thousands before you have, and you can, too!
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