It’s a new academic year and college students must say farewell to summer vacation and prepare for their fall semester. Regardless of discipline or grade level, the following five tips and tricks will better prepare college students for success:
Tip: Buy a planner and write down all important dates such as the student tuition deadline, final day to add or drop a class, student orientation, first day and time of each class, etc.
Trick: Collect all course syllabi and transfer each assignment, test, or project’s due date for the entire semester onto the new planner. This activity takes less than an hour and will save students major points by avoiding, “oops, I forgot that was due today”.
By-the-way: Purchase your parking pass and text books early if you can’t buy them online. This will save you hours of waiting in long lines during the first week of school.
Tip: Meeting your professors will help personalize your academic experience. Make sure they think you’re serious about earning a good grade in their class and that you are interested in the course topic (regardless of how you really feel about the subject).
Trick: Even though office hours are still a great way to introduce yourself, now you can find your professors on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Make a good cyber impression and they will take you seriously on the first day of class.
By-the-way: You’re social media pages should be professional before you reach out to professors. If they’re not, clean it up. College is the time that you, as an adult, must present yourself as a professional. Remember that employers use social media to screen out inappropriate job candidates by Googling your name.
3. GET STICKY:
Tip: “Sticky Campus” refers to college campus activities that engage student participation. Many believe that students, who get involved with campus activities like sports, clubs, school government, campus jobs/internships, etc., tend to do better at school and graduate faster than students who only go to class. Join at least one campus activity this semester and watch your network expand and opportunities come to you.
Trick: Balance your time commitments. Remember that class is your primary responsibility. Only participate in campus activities as long as they don’t distract you from school. In other words, don’t spread yourself too thin.
4. ACADEMIC ALLIES:
Tip: Make sure that you have at least one class ally in each course. This person can fill you in on assignments or notes if you miss a class, they can be someone to work with on a group assignment or study with for a big exam.
Trick: On the first day of class, strike up a conversation with another student and introduce yourself. Then find them on Facebook (or another social website) to keep it causal and have easy communication about class.
Tip: Even in the current academic budget crunch, colleges and universities provide their students with an array of free resources. Knowing what support is available, a student’s job becomes much easier. For example, it is common for colleges and universities to provide free writing centers, career centers, health centers, child day care, gyms, libraries, computer labs, study rooms, free movies and technology equipment, free student planners, concerts, art shows, job fairs, banking, mentoring, and psychiatric counseling.
Trick: Check online or with the campus information center for all free student resources in the beginning of the fall semester. Use them or at least stop by the office responsible for the resource and become familiar with how they can help you succeed.
Good luck and let me know if you have any other tips or tricks for college success.