Being Successful in College

In all of my years teaching, I have seen many students struggle with classes- sometimes whole disciplines and other times just individual classes. In talking with students and looking at their issues, I discovered that in general, students do not know how to study for college classes!


You should study about 2-3 hours outside of class for every hour in class!

Ten Steps to Wellness

1. Insure proper sleep. Late night studying doesn’t payoff.
2. Participate in an exercise program.
3. Say no to drugs.
4. Cut down on fats.
5. Remind yourself that life doesn’t need to be stressful.
6. Identify your stressors and learn ways to manage them.
7. Remind yourself that being stressed doesn’t make you a better student.
8. Avoid
heavy sugar foods.
9. Find someone to talk to when you are upset. Keeping things to yourself only adds to stress.
10. Initiate some relaxing events into your life.

Ten Steps to Effective Time Management

1. Establish a calendar for each week.
2. Prioritize your assignments and tasks.
3. Plan social activities a week ahead.
4. Do assignments early.
5. Delegate tasks when appropriate. Don’t take on everything yourself.
6. Match your schedule with your overall goals.
7. Set aside daily study times so “cramming” is unnecessary.
8. Calculate how many hours of class there are in a semester and plan on two/three hours per class per week for studying.
9. Learn to be assertive and say “no” to distractions during scheduled study times.
10. Find quick ways of dealing with interruptions that would get you back on schedule.

Ten Steps to Increase College Involvement

1. Study with friends.
2. Maintain contact with a school counselor, advisor, or an instructor you like.
3. Get to know each of your instructors.
4. Associate with successful students.
5, Get involved
in non-academic activities on campus.
6. Take a part-time job on campus.
7. Learn the names of leaders in the field represented by your favorite course subjects.
8. Learn the current research questions in your favorite course subjects
9. Visit each of the campus resource centers and pick one thing from each center that could help you within the next six months.
10. Find a quiet, comfortable place to study on a regular basis.

Ten Steps to Increase Family Involvement

1. Invite your family to school and college events.
2. Create a qu
iet place in your home specifically for studying.
3. Talk about your grades with your parents, partner, or children.
4. Show pride in your college work to extended family.
5. When creating a schedule, create a balance among course work, extra-curricular activities, and family.
6. Include family members in your decision making process for choosing courses, majors, and careers.
7. Be sensitive to the feelings of family members who may feel left out of this part of your life.
8. Figure class assignments within the family calendar. Discuss class assignments and deadlines with your family.
9. If you have
young children, plan tasks for your children to do that they enjoy and allow these activities only when you also get to study. Reward children after both of you complete your tasks.
10. If you live with your family, your studying may often be interrupted. Set up types of studying, like using flashcards, that can allow for children or spousal distractions. Save the sustained studying time for after your partner’s or child’s gone to sleep.

Ten Steps to Gaining Responsibility and Control

1. Know what is expected in the class. Discuss expectations with instructors and other students.
2. Make study plans for each course/assignment.
3. Take constructive criticism from faculty or fellow students.
4. Reduce self-talk that a class or instructor is too hard for you.
5. Stand up for what you believe in.
6. Get to know your instructors.
7. Allow answers to come from you, not what you think is desirable to the instructor.
8. Get assignments in on time.
9. Take initiative in school and do not wait for others to tell you what to do.
10. Do not blame others for your poor grades.

Ten Steps to Gaining the Competitive Edge

1. Be aware of the grading system in a class. What does it take to get the desired grade?
2. Read course syllabi carefully. Discuss it with other students.
3. Compete with your own expectations.
4. Participate actively in class discussion.
5. Judge the peer competition within the class.
6. Discuss issues in study groups.
7. Recognize successful students are persuasive.
8. Assert your opinions and views.
9. Aspire to be in the top ten percent of the class.
10. Associate with other competitive students.

Ten Steps to Task Precision

1. Keep a task list each week.
2. Prioritize your task list with A, B, C’s. A’s are the most important. C’s are the least.
3. Self-edit your words in speaking and writing to be more precise.
4. Read slowly and carefully to capture the entire main idea.
5. Use problem-solving techniques to analyze questions and issues.
6. Dissect assignments step-by-step before working on them.
7. Underline details in course assignments.
8. Layout the details of a task before starting.
9. Follow through in a precise, systematic manner.
10. Evaluate carefully and with detail why you received a grade you did.

Ten Steps to Managing Expectations

1. Engage in discussions about future careers with instructors, family, and peers.
2. Expect high achievement within your ability.
3. Develop possible short, mid-term, and long term goals for school and life.
4. Determine what grades you plan to achieve in each class.
5. Delineate what you need to do to earn better grades in difficult courses.
6. Clarify your values. Find out what’s important to you.
7. Make a list of what factors motivate you and try to use them to reinforce activities that will help you achieve your goals.
8. Select a major of study or career that would reflect your personality, values, abilities, and long term goals.
9. When making decisions, determine what you need to accomplish, consider the positive and negative, chose a plan of action based on your values, and then take action.
10. Consider the difference between immediate and delayed gratification and how you respond to each one.

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Being a Successful Student

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