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Going to college/university is a huge step. It is the beginning of a new chapter in your life. If we were to open to the next chapter, would we find that you’ve successfully gone through the university and are now starting at a new enviable job? It all depends on you; remember the common saying, ‘As you make your bed, so you’ll lie on it.’  To succeed in college, you must be hard-working, focused, and responsible.
How you begin your first semester in college sets the tone for the rest of the semester. Here are tips that will help you start off successfully:

  • Make sure you have registered for all the appropriate courses. If you’re uncertain, your faculty administrator, dean’s secretary, and academic advisor are there to help you.
  • Before classes begin, obtain an accurate timetable for your registered courses. If you’re confused about anything, talk to your academic advisor. Missing lectures will make it difficult for you to catch up with the rest of the class and you might miss some early assignments or continuous assessments. These will impact on your final grades.
  • Draw up a comprehensive (24/7) timetable and ensure everything you do is scheduled in. You need to be disciplined to follow your timetable conscientiously. It is the best way to achieve effective time management - a crucial factor for success in the university. See my article on time management.
  • Keep a diary/journal for recording bits of vital information, such as, dates for submission of assignments, appointments, meetings, further research to be done on particular topics, and dates to return library books. Some students find it more convenient to use their cellphone tools, for example, using the organizer and/or setting the alarm as reminder. You may wish to use your cell phone and still use your journal/diary as back-up.
  • Take notes during lectures and research topics before and after classes. Don’t depend on only one source of information.  Your lecture notes, textbooks, course modules and guides, handouts, and notes obtained from research all contribute to helping you learn successfully.
If you put these tips into practice, you would have largely begun the semester on a good note. I wish you a successful semester.

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