6 Tips for College Success
College is an exciting time full of new experiences and challenges that can be overwhelming when you’re unprepared.
Unlike high school’s structured days, college offers a lot more freedom and flexibility. Managing your newfound freedom wisely is the key to college (and life) success.
Here are six simple tips to help you make the most of your college experience:
1. Budget and prioritize your time. Keep your relationship with God number one.
Schedule time each day to read the Word, pray, and listen to God. Don't allow your free time to be dominated by comfort or directed by convenience.
Schedule your class and study times in advance. Treat those times like important appointments that cannot be broken. If you are working while attending college, schedule those hours next on your calendar.
Discipline yourself to get adequate sleep each night. Don't stay up all night watching movies just because there is no one around to tell you not to.
Any time left on your schedule is your discretionary time. Have fun. Try new things, Visit new places, just remember to keep your priorities in order.
2. Attend every class on your schedule.
Education is no longer free. You owe it to yourself to invest your mind, heart,
and time into this learning experience.
Engage in each course by asking questions and making relevant comments when there’s opportunity.
If you don't understand a concept or an assignment, ask your instructor after class or via email.
Thank your instructors from time to time; let them know how they’ve impacted you. Remember, your instructors are people too.
3. Make study a habit.
Determine that you are not only a college student, but also a life-long learner. The disciplines you put into practice in college will establish a pattern for your development, growth, and success in the future.
Take good notes during class time and review them before your next class. Highlight key points emphasized by the instructor and those that were most meaningful to you. Developing this habit will prevent "cramming" for tests and give you something to contribute in class.
If you are struggling with a class, invite a fellow student to lunch or coffee and solicit their help. Learn to develop healthy relationships now; you’ll use those skills for the rest of your life.
4. Get involved.
Find a group that you identify with that is servant or purpose-based. Volunteer during your discretionary time. Investing in others reaps rich personal rewards (Luke 6:38).
Find a local, life-giving church and become a part of a spiritual community.
Look for fellow students who seem alone, disconnected, or discouraged, and make yourself available to befriend and encourage them. Offer to tutor or help those who are struggling.
5. Be selective about your close friendships.
You can be kind and friendly to everyone, but your inner circle of relationships requires a greater measure of discretion and judgment. Jesus had different levels of relationships: the multitude, the seventy, the twelve, His inner circle (Peter, James, and John) and His best friend—John. It should be no different with us.
Look for friends who have similar values, goals, and beliefs as you. Proverbs 27:17 says that iron sharpens iron. You need to find friends who will "sharpen" you spiritually, emotionally and mentally. Find friends who will challenge you to succeed and fulfill your potential.
"Do not be deceived: evil company corrupts good habits" (I Corinthians 15:33).
6. Depend on the greater One inside you.
Whenever you feel overwhelmed, recognize you are not alone.
You have the greatest teacher living in you—the Holy Spirit. He knows everything. The Bible tells us He will teach and remind us of everything we need know (John 14:26; I John 2:20, 27).
Agree with the Word of God that declares you have the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16). The memory of the just—which includes you if you know the Lord—is blessed (Proverbs 10:7), and the Holy Spirit gives you supernatural recall of everything you learn in class (John 14:26).
Remember, Jesus is the source of all wisdom. Call on Him often. He will answer!