There is a lot more to successful college life than simply studying hard – a lot more in fact!
Now you also of course won’t get good grades without putting in the hard work, we’re not saying that. But at the same time, there is more to consider behind the scenes.
Here then are 7 secrets to college success.
You are going to struggle with your studies if you cannot give all of your attention to your studying – and this means no distractions! Whilst that may seem straight forward – limit your partying, get down the library regularly, etc – there are plenty of other elements of college life that can get in the way.
Finance is one of these elements. You don’t want to be worrying about paying the rent or how you’re going to cover this month’s grocery bill when you should be studying – so create a financial survival plan early on.
Have a Goal
A college course is quite an investment in time, and if you are going to maintain your motivation over that period, then it will help if you are working toward a goal.
What that goal is of course is very much an individual consideration and will differ from student to student. One of the more common motivating factors in studying is a hope of finding work later in a particular industry or even a specific company. If you haven’t given that much though, maybe check out this list of the best companies for graduates – and you might find your own goal to aim toward right on that list!
Take a Break
Studying hard may seem the key to good grades, but if you push too hard you’re likely to have the opposite affect. After all, it can’t be all work and no fun or you’re going to suffer a burn out.
That being said there is no reason at all why you can’t both take a break from studying and yet continue to broaden your mind. You could for example engage in some culture – anything from a night out at the theatre to watching a cool movie - or you could read a book or just lie flat out on your bed and listen to some music.
Whatever helps you unwind – go for it!
Take a Real Break
Or sometimes it can be beneficial to walk away from your studies for an extended period to really rest and reevaluate. There’s nothing wrong with that and in many cases it can be the better option rather than soldiering on with a college course you don’t feel is right for you, or a when you are simply too tired out to carry on.
If you are going to take a longer break from your studies though then you may as well use the time wisely. Intern at a company you would like to work for or get a low level temp job in a industry that interests you – there are also some amazing travel opportunities out there for students.
Find Extra Curricular Activities
As well as taking simple and regular breaks from your studies simply for the purpose of relaxing, it can also be a great idea to find some extra curricular activities that interest you too.
Have you ever noticed that college campuses are absolutely rife with clubs and societies all providing a wealth of extracurricular activity? That’s no accident, and they are there because they not only allow students to blow off steam, they allow them a place to channel excess energy into something useful. Bottom line – extra curricular activities will make you a more rounded student – that’s good for your studies, and also you as a human being.
Learn Additional Skills
Both the experience itself and the ultimate goal of going to college is not just the certificate you pick up at the end. Yes, that is of course the main goal, but at the same time if you really want to get the most from your time at college it pays to pick up some additional skills.
You may very well gain some of these doing the extra curricular activities we discussed above – and have a great time too! But there are also many skills that college doesn’t teach you. For a well-rounded college experience that will stand you well in the post graduate jobs market, it’s a good idea to consider what they might not be teaching you – and how you can remedy that.
The final tip is to learn how to balance your life effectively. There are plenty of great guides to doing just that but at the end of the day you need to find what works for you. College is not just a time to learn academically – it is a time for you to learn what kind of person you are. College affords more mistakes than you will be allowed to make in the working world - so take advantage of that time now to learn how to balance your work and social lives, the demands that are placed upon you and demands you place upon yourself.
You’ve worked hard to get where you are and you’ll have to continue to work hard during your time at college. But don’t lose sight of how and why you got to where you are today – and where you want to find yourself tomorrow.
Annabelle is part of the Content and Community team at SmileTutor, sharing valuable content to their own community and beyond.