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College education is your passport to a better life. Attending university or college is an opportunity that you can’t afford to mess up. It is a huge challenge for some students than for others. Whatever your case, it requires hard work and commitment. It is your responsibility to make a success of it. The following are important tips to help you succeed at college or university.

College students walking

• Listen to learn. Be attentive at lectures and take notes. Keep away from distractions whether noise or classmates. Take note of clues from your teacher.
• Read to learn. Develop reading skills that will enable you successfully engage in independent reading. You need to employ metacognitive reading strategies. See my article on HOW TO READ TO LEARN AND BE AT THE TOP OF YOUR CLASS.
• Develop effective writing techniques. It is mostly through your writing that your teachers will evaluate you and your work; so you need to write well.
• Avoid missing classes. Inform your teacher if you need to be absent from class or explain later to your teacher why you were absent from class.
• Be early to class and avoid sitting at the back or close to the entrance. You don’t need the distractions.
• Research topics and make comprehensive notes.
• Write legibly so that your lecturer does not struggle to decipher what you have written. Illegible handwriting is a barrier to effective communication.
• Always edit and proofread your work before handing it in.
• Practice good time management. Have a comprehensive timetable. See my article on time management.
• Allow extra time to do things and to get to places.
• Make time for leisure.
• Try to make healthy food choices. It isn’t easy but you can choose what you eat. Regardless of the meal plan, you don’t have to sample everything served. For example, if you enjoy eating ice cream every day, minimize eating it to two or three times a week.
• See your advisor to resolve any problems or confusions you may have.
• Be neat and organized.
• Make friends but do it wisely. Remember the saying. “Show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are.”
• Avoid unhealthy drinks and substances e.g. soft drinks, beer, cigarettes, and drugs.
• Be at the top of your game. Always know everything your teachers expect you to know and even more. Hand in every assignment at the stipulated time.
• Don’t antagonize your teachers by being disrespectful or too forward. You may not like your teacher’s reaction which could negatively affect your attitude to the course and your performance in the course.
• Show kindness and gratitude always.
• Manage your finances well.
• Take your work seriously, but be kind to yourself. Your mental health is important.
• Talk less; listen more.
• Remain focused. Remember you are at college to obtain a degree. Don’t let anything stop or distract you.

Have a great time @ college!

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