When I attended law school orientation day, it helped me become familiar with the college and faculty. This is something in the past I did not do whenever I attended colleges and Universities. I wish I would have, because knowledge is power. Knowing in advance the kind of college and the attitude of the administration toward college students is extremely important.
Here are some college student success secrets I tell university students throughout the world whenever I speak at orientation welcome week and college kickoffs.
1. Take your mentor, a trusted teacher, or parent along with you.
The wisdom and experience of years is priceless. Not to mention associating with such a person immediately gains you the respect of college administrators who handle you differently and speak to you professionally.
Furthermore having a trusted mentor of parent by your side will help lessen anxiety and help whenever you need to ask hard questions. Some you may forget to ask, but they can present some key and crucial points for you to consider at orientation.
No life transition is easy, particularly the one from high-school to college. Therefore don’t tackle this alone. Having somebody with you, even if just a respectable friend, will provide comfort and strength to you emotionally. If your parent can take time off from work to attend, this will later lessen you having to answer all of their many questions once you begin school.
2. Take as many entrance and placement exams that you can to become self-aware as a college student.
Self-awareness is a lifelong discovery process. The more exams you take, the more able you will be to gauge your strengths and weaknesses.
The ACT and SAT are just two college entrance exams that help colleges determine your scholastic aptitude and academic ability. Placement exams such as the CLEP also enable you to determine and identify what classes are appropriate and most suitable for you to begin as an entering freshman at college.
Prematurely taking a college class before you are academically ready and prepared for it could be disastrous, cost you unnecessary money, and damage your GPA. Save yourself the pain and heartache by accurately gauging your ability beforehand and becoming self-aware as to your academic ability before haphazardly enrolling in classes.
3. Be friendly, curious, humble, and network whenever possible.
Meet and greet as many people as you can. Express a genuine curiosity in others and take an interest in those around you. By doing so, you will learn more and be able to process the college experience and grasp the essentials for college success.
College student success requires you interact with others and learn from upper level, more established students who know the ropes and ways of your college. For example, you will want to know where the cafeteria and gym are. Finding classes may require you to step out and ask for help periodically. Getting the resources you need at the library will also demand you be friendly, courteous, and ask for help.
4. Develop meaningful friendships among college students who can assist you in your own academic progress and professional development. Depending upon your major, join a college association or organization for like minded students.
Once you pinpoint your passion and know which direction you are moving academically and professionally, it will be far easier to identify the appropriate and ideal student association with which to align yourself. Greek life is also useful to make friends for fun and feel a part of something larger than yourself.
The greatest thing you can do however is look for organizations that are wholeheartedly pursuing your interests and objectives. Once aligned with them, you can jump right in and become a part of a meaningful group on track to where you want to go.
5. Cultivate student advisors and professors to guide and mentor you.
Whenever possible, draw near and talk to student advisors and professors seeking their advice and guidance on issues of importance to your academic success. Student advisors don’t have mixed motives (as sometimes older students associated with an organization or association might) and it is their job to direct and advise you.
Therefore take advantage of the resource and don’t be afraid to ask questions whenever you need to know something.
6. Take a walk around the campus and become familiar with all of the nuances and peculiarities.
Each campus has its own protocol, policies, and procedures. As you spend time walking around, interacting, and observing the way things are done on your campus, you will quickly learn the ins and outs.
When you attend a college as a student, the campus becomes your home away from home. Therefore make sure you feel comfortable with your college and university before you proceed. If for any reason you feel uneasy, troubled, or disturbed about something on campus, quickly address and get these issues resolved before proceeding academically.
7. Get acquainted with the professors teaching your classes and review the syllabus well before classes begin.
By personally meeting and talking with your future professors, you get a feel for their personality and possible teaching style. When I did this once at a community college, I was shocked to observe a professor with whom I was to begin a course yelling and complaining about her computer. I immediately knew I wanted to withdraw from this professor’s course (since I wasn’t overly thrilled with the technology involved in the course and her level of impatience, which would not serve me well as a student).
Seek out older students who have taken classes with various professors also who can give you some helpful feedback about their teaching styles, coursework assigned, and class requirements. This will enable you to find and choose a professor that best matches your learning style.
8. Go to the college financial aid website and office to complete any application forms available for college funding and scholarships.
Complete every form available to get financial assistance. College is not cheap and you are going to need thousands of dollars to live on and cover the expense of your tuition. Think and plan ahead pertaining to the financing of your education.
Get your tax records in order and ready to submit whenever applying for financial aid. Ask your parents for their annual tax statements, when necessary, to apply for financial aid and various scholarships.
9. Be proactive in all things financial and beware of signing up for any free credit cards on camps when vendors offer you something.
Most of these credit cards are at high interest rates and can wreck your credit. Beware of vendors (especially mobile phone and credit card vendors) seeking to prey on you, get you to sign contracts, and obtain your social security number and financial information.
10. Always stay focused and healthy throughout your college experience.
Live strong and be strong. Eat well and exercise regularly. Don’t abuse your body partying. You can celebrate after you finish college and land a good paying job. Stay focused, have fun, but don’t forget why you have come to college.
Invite worldwide speaker and life-changing author Paul F. Davis to speak to your college students about success secrets and breakthrough leadership!
Paul is an exceptional and frequently requested speaker for college student success, leadership, orientations, and to kickoff college events. Paul’s 17 life-changing books have landed him celebrity guest appearances on Fox News Radio, Investor’s Business Daily, and 3 times on Oprah & Friends. After a 45 minute interview on Playboy Radio, Afternoon Advice host Tiffany Granath calls Paul an awesome relational coach and recommends his books on love, dating, and sexuality. Paul’s academic success & leadership secrets for college students are unparalleled and greatly empowering. Paul builds bridges cross-culturally, cultivating diversity awareness, while empowering college students to discover their destiny and live their dreams.
A master in NLP & life coaching; Paul’s humorous, fun, playful and transformative messages graciously challenge college students to ask themselves hard questions and be their personal best. As a former high-school senior class English and ESOL teacher, Paul understands the challenges facing incoming college students. Moreover Paul personally knows what transfer students go through as he himself attended a community college where he graduated with a 3.8 GPA before entering UCF, where he graduated Cum Laude. As a worldwide professional speaker who has touched more than 50 countries and 6 continents, Paul greatly appeals to international students throughout the world.
Paul worked at Ground Zero in NYC during 9/11; helped rebuild a home at the tsunami epicenter; comforted victims of genocide in Rwanda; spoke to leaders in East Timor during the war; inspired students & monks in Myanmar; promoted peace & reconciliation in Pakistan; and has been deep into rural Africa where villagers had never before seen a white man. Paul empowers people to love passionately, work together globally, and live their dreams fearlessly.
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