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What does it take to be a successful and productive college student?

I'm preparing for college and I'm just curious about what challenges college throws at you. How can these challenges be avoided. #career-counseling #college-bound #mentoring #academic-advising

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Kim’s Answer

Self-discipline!


You will be tempted to cut classes. There are LOTS of available excuses. I went to a new school where nothing happened, but still managed to figure out that doing voter registration drives was better than sitting in class. You will need to schedule your time, figure out the best time for studying, etc. please try to form study groups for the difficult subjects. You will be tempted to study the easy classes and procrastinate on the harder ones. That sort of makes sense, as you don't want to let an "A" slip away, but don't let a B become a C either.


Use the time between classes productively. You can often knock out the reading assignments during the day, between scheduled classes. Don't overload your schedule all on one day, don't take more than two classes back to back (with no break time). Make flashcards if you need to . . . figure out HOW it is that you learn best, and at what TIME of day you are most likely to retain information. Don't be afraid to ask someone to critique your term papers before you turn them in, just make sure you pick a strong critic!


Alcohol, drugs, sex, all will be there. Keep your eye on the prize (the degree), and don't let anything deter you!

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Randy’s Answer

Great question, Terran. In order to be a successful and productive college student you have to first realize that the purpose of college is to set you up for your future. So once you wrap your mind around that then it's a matter of deciding exactly what it is that you enjoy doing and actually finding a major that will put you on that career path. Preparing for college by doing some research on schools and majors will allow for you to make the best choice in regards to best fit as certain schools excel in different fields/areas (meaning companies seek out students in those specific areas from those schools). Take some time to really learn how to "study" because this is key to your in-class performance from day one of college until your final day of college. Work hard and make time to "reward yourself with fun activities". Most importantly, enjoy yourself and this fantastic opportunity to prepare yourself for a successful future!

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Candace’s Answer

College is such a great time to learn and grow! A lot of people struggle with being away from home, making new friends and adjusting to the amount of schoolwork. My biggest pieces of advice are:
1. Get involved in extracurricular activities! Go to your schools club fair and find people with similar interests to yours. This helps tremendously with making new friends and avoiding homesickness.
2. Go to class. It sounds simple, but going to class is the best way to keep on top of your school work and it is a chance to ask the professor questions.
3. Do your homework. Again it sounds simple, but this is the best way to see if you understand concepts before the test.
4. Have fun! Make sure you balance school with fun things. I always had a no homework on Fridays rule to give myself a break. And I took weekends to explore my college town and go to local events.

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Wayne’s Answer

The things mentioned already are great things to consider however, as you are preparing for College, take the time now to start getting into the habit of actually reading your text books and getting ahead of the teacher. Since High School is typically a time for students to sit back and let the teacher feed them the information, College tends to be the opposite. The professors will provide information, but it will not always include what is in the text. The expectation is that you have read the text and don't need to repeat it in class lectures. Tests will typically include both the text material and the lecture items. Class should be a chance for you to ask for clarification on what you read so you will be able to understand that aspect of the learning.
It will be extremely tempting to get distracted from study by other activities since those opportunities are very numerous and "fun". Establishing a schedule for study as mentioned above is a good way to manage this temptation, but you must remember that you are paying for the education in College and it is your money at stake if you waste your time. Be prepared to be hit with a flood of choices. Pick the ones that are important to you and work them into your study plan so that they compliment each other rather than detract. Use your last year in High School to practice these items and you will be better prepared for the transition. Good Luck!

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