How can I be successful in college in today's society?


Amanda Morris, College Professor, Writer, Advisor, Writing Coach

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Great advice so far, so I will add this. Using the resources available to you at your university will help you to be successful. For instance, the university writing center will help with any and all writing assignments for courses. There are often Student Achievement or subject-specific tutoring centers that will help with everything from study and time management skills to help with biology, math, chemistry, languages, and other subject areas. Look also for a career center - many universities offer career-related preparation and services such as resume reviews, help with writing job application letters, and searchable internship databases.

Finally, creating a strong social network of peers and building a rapport with many professors will provide you constant support and encouragement. And those professors that you build relationships with (take your favorite profs for more than one course, stop by a few times a semester to say hi and catch up) will be willing to write you highly specific and top quality references for scholarships, jobs, internships, and/or grad school.

As my colleagues here have noted, success in college requires much more than a good GPA. By developing strong relationships and using your university's resources, you will not only succeed in college, but will also be well-prepared for post-undergraduate life! :)

David H. Nguyen, Education Consultant, College Lecturer, PhD

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The key is not just to get good grades. The key to being successful in college is to prepare yourself to be successful after college, whether that is in the work force or graduate school. Internships in industry or with researchers at universities are very important towards this goal. Part-time jobs during college are also important for you to gain work place skills and some knowledge of industry trends. Internships might be just as important as getting good grades. Sometimes, a great recommendation can make up for grades about which you are not too proud.

There are two types of workshops that you should seek out in college. Departments usually have bulletin boards or email lists that publicize these events.

  1. Leadership training workshops that teach you public speaking, time management, and networking. Network with alumni and recruiters!
  2. Presentations by established professionals about necessary steps to take in order to prepare yourself for a certain industry or profession.
Michael Schoch, Noodle Intern

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That's a doozy of a question. There are many ways to succeed as a college student and they vary depending on your personality, learning style and life goals. What I can do is point you towards some resources that will help you make the most of your time at school.

Of course, an obvious starting point is Noodle's topic page on succeeding in college. You may also want to visit some of the related topic pages that cover other areas of the college experience.

Time management and strong study habits are two seemingly obvious but deceptively difficult components of doing well at school. Learning to prioritize your responsibilities as well as manage school and personal obligations can keep you from getting overwhelmed.

Staying healthy, both mentally and physically is an important part of college that many students overlook when first beginning. Keeping track of your mental health can be difficult when you have deadlines to meet and responsibilities to fulfill, but keep in mind that none of your deadlines or responsibilities will be of use to you if you aren't sufficiently healthy to function and enjoy yourself.

For a more general and overarching checklist of things to do to succeed, read this article from the New York Times.

I hope that helps! Enjoy the summer and best of luck!

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