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How can I start off sucessful by going to college?

Im a 10th grade student at Hillcrest Highschool and I want to see how can I take a big step forward to be successful. #student #artist

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Alison’s Answer

Shantrell, I LOVE how motivated you are! I wish every student I worked with had that same good energy!

One way to make sure you have a successful start to college is to think about what makes you successful in high school. Do you take solid notes in your classes so you have something to study from later? Do you work best alone or in groups? Do you work best in a quiet space or with a little bit of background noise? How do you study the best: working in smaller bits of time over several days, having someone quiz you, doing practice problems, seeing if you can explain the topic to someone else? (Side note: while it may seem like it, you probably do not actually study your best by cramming at the last minute or pulling all-nighters.)

When you know what strategies work really well for you in your classes and in your homework/study time, you can bring those strategies along with you to college. Everyone is a little different, so if one of your friends swears that she gets higher grades when she listens to music, don’t just assume it’s true for you too, test it out. Really focus on getting to know yourself and your strengths/weaknesses. Then, when you’re in college, you can use that information. Do you work best alone and in a quiet space? Then head to the library to do your homework instead of your dorm room where your 3 roommates are. Do you understand concepts best when you talk through them? Then go to your professor’s office hours or the review session the teaching assistant is running.

One last note: no matter who they are or how they learn, every college student needs a way to stay organized. Your classes will not run on the same kind of schedule that they do in high school, and the professors will not give as much guidance in walking through assignments as high school teachers often do. Using a paper planner and color coding is great for some people, but others do better with setting reminders on their phone and keeping class materials in separate spaces. So, as you’re getting to know what kind of studying and learning techniques work for you, get to know what kind of organization works for you, too.

Good luck with the rest of high school and good luck with your future in college, too!

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Todd’s Answer

Good points, Alison. I would add it helps to find a field you're passionate about to continue driving ambition. Give yourself time when completing assignments by not procrastinating, which served me well during college while also working.

Practically speaking, try to network with professionals in your chosen field to better understand what's involved. It may also help you land an internship or other opportunity. While education is important, hands-on experience will also serve you well.

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Deijana’s Answer

Definitely believe in yourself! Don't let the opinion of people around you stop you from taking the steps towards to success that you want. You are the only person that can declare you successful. That is a feeling measured by what you have happy having accomplished. So no matter how big or small that goal may be, chase it!