Tuesday, August 17, 2010

How to Succeed In College

Some advice on how new college students can succeed while in school.
Note: Success in God's eyes is about being faithful, not about achieving your own goals apart from Him. So, while this advice is quite practical, the goal is to do what God wants you to do.

How to Succeed In College
ACADEMICS:
  • Set your own goals for college. Don’t do it for the money you may get later or your parents.
    --As a young adult you have the opportunity to broaden your horizons. Take full advantage. Getting an education and growing as a person is a good thing.
  • Don’t stay up until 3am. Don’t cram.
    --Studies show that all-nighters and cramming don't work. 
  • Learn how to study well
    --Your primary vocation is to be a student, so be a good one.
  • Don’t procrastinate
    --You know it just makes things worse.
  • Use a calendar / planner
    --This helps you establish good habits.
  • Go to class and be on time
    --Just like Mom told you to. It is the right thing to do, esp. since you are paying tons of $ for it.
  • Nip problems in the bud.
    --Don't think that problems will take care of themselves. 
  • Get to know your profs
    --Not by Facebook or email. Get to know them at the beginning of the semester face-to-face. It is definitely worth all the time and effort and will usually make class more enjoyable.
  • Know there is help if you need it – doctors / counselors / advisors / etc.
    --Don't be too proud to ask others for help.
  • Set a limit on screen time - computer / texting / phone / video games / TV / etc.
    --You aren't at school just to have fun. So, limit those things that distract from being a good student.
  • Go to class and sit up front.
    --Less distractions up front and if you skip class you are throwing away a chance to learn in addition to gobs of money. If you are a Texan taking 15 hours at A&M and skip one Tues/Thur class you are losing about $25.
  • Remember what school is for.
    --School is for school. School isn't just about friends, good times, doing whatever you like. You should still have fun, but not at the cost of doing your best in school.
  • No regrets
    --You don't want to look back on your time in college and regret that you could have gotten better grades, or lived a better life.
SPIRITUAL:
  • Be the best you that you can be
    --Work on realizing your purpose in life, your vocation, and being the best you that you can.
  • Get involved at church
    --This doesn't have to mean 10 hours of things at church every week, but find something that will help you become a part of the community.
  • Establish a prayer routine
    --Now is the time to work on knowing God deeply and intimately.
  • Learn your faith – you will be challenged
    --You are learning chemistry, English, and math at an adult level - but don't forget to learn your faith at an adult level as well. Take a class at church, join a Bible study, or read some good Catholic books.
  • Go to church and sit up front.
    --Less to distract you from fully participating in Mass. Don't forget to sing.
  • Establish a regular time to go to Confession.
    --Once a month is a good plan.
SOCIAL:
  • Have fun
    --There is the "other education" when you go to college. Just don't do anything immoral while you are having fun.
  • Make adult decisions
    --If you want to be an adult, start acting like one. Just don't act like the "adults" in Hollywood either.
  • Find true friends
    --A true friend isn't a drinking buddy or someone you sleep with. A true friend wants what is best for you and is willing to sacrifice for it. If you don't have these kinds of friends, keep looking for them. Church is a good place to start.
  • Make and stick to a budget
    --It is very easy to waste a lot of money when you leave home.
  • Eat smart / eat breakfast / exercise
    --Take care of your health. There is only so much pizza, hamburgers, and coke you should have.
  • Plan on becoming homesick
    --It happens to the best of us. But, don't lean too much on your parents either. It is good to learn how to live on your own without them fixing your problems all the time.
  • Most should wait to date
    --If you aren't ready to get engaged, you shouldn't date.
One tip for parents - don't hover. Too many parents these days aren't letting their children separate from the family in a healthy way.

God bless you all!

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