The Student News Site of Montgomery College

the advocate

The Student News Site of Montgomery College

the advocate

The Student News Site of Montgomery College

the advocate

Five steps to succeed in college

Freshmen year is generally considered to be one of the most stressful and frustrating years in college. Mostly because as people graduate from high school all they hear is “College is hard” “This is the beginning of your life, don’t screw it up.” Students really do try their best to make it right. Here are five steps to consider that might help you succeed in college.

Get Motivated

First of all, you need to ask yourself, “What is the practical value of college?” It will help you acquire wisdom and many other helpful skills that will prepare you for the real world.

For example:

  • Analytical abilities – going to college can help you develop the tools to become analytical enabling you to be critical of your environment, enhance your decision making capabilities, and provide you with common sense and sound judgment. Acquiring these skills will help you to solve your own problems instead of always having to rely on others to bail you out.
  • Social Skills – Mixing with a variety of people on campus gives you the opportunity to develop those qualities. Tolerance, respect, and empathy are traits that will serve you well in every life situation.

The bottom line is: get motivated by considering the incentives noted above.

Get Organized

The small effort it takes to stay organized can lead to a huge payoff: more time, less stress, and better grades.

  1. Establish and manage your schedule – write your to-do list in a small notebook, or store it on your cellphone or other electronic device.
  2. Do not procrastinate. The easiest thing to say is, “I’ll do it later.” In every case, it is better to do things as soon as possible, especially your homework.

Make it a point to do your homework as soon as you get home, before engaging in any other recreations.
Getting and staying organized will save you an immense amount of stress that comes with missing assignments, forgetting things, running late, and never seeming to have enough time for other priorities.

Get Help

Every college has a multitude of resources to help you along. Spend some time at the school library and join a club. There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Most professors are happy to know that a student is interested and genuinely wants to succeed, and they will generally be glad to give assistance.

Simply tell your professor, “I’m struggling with this class, but I want to succeed. What do you recommend?”

Stay Healthy

Imagine that you own a car, but you never take the time to maintain it. The car will only go so far before it breaks down. The same can happen to our body. What kind of “maintenance” do you need?

  1. Rest – Getting sufficient rest will give you more energy, improve your brain function, boost your immune system, and enhance your emotional well-being. That is quite a return for something that requires so little effort.
  2. Nutrition – Do not skip breakfast. “Fueling your engine” before class can help improve your concentration and your short-term memory.
  3. Exercise – It is good for your body. It can strengthen your muscles and bones, improve your stamina, control your weight, increase your mental capabilities, boost your immune system, and lift your mood.

Adequate sleep, balanced nutrition, and moderate exercise will help you keep your “engine” running. And that, in turn, will help you upgrade your performance in the classroom.

Set goals

Going through school without goals is like running a marathon with no finish line. Setting and achieving goals has its benefits of keeping you on track.
How can you set a goal? There are a few points to consider:

  1. Consider your strengths. For example, are you a gifted writer? Strong with Numbers? Finances?
  2. Consider your options. Brainstorm several options with people who know you rather than focusing only on your “dream job.”
  3. Consider your opportunities. Once you know which occupation you would like to pursue, look at the market for that type of work. This is a critical step, especially in today’s high unemployment environment.

If you set goals, your education will have direction and purpose.

Consider these useful tips to be successful in college. Also, remember to enjoy your time while on campus. College is a lot more than just classes, as your social development is also critical to your success in life.


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  • J

    Julia JunghansOct 12, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Good piece, unfortunately I follow probably 1 of those rules, but always good to have a reminder!

  • O

    Ousmane MarikoOct 11, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    I do nothing under “stay healthy” except for exercise. I don’t sleep, and I eat terribly haha. Whoops!