You’ve probably been told for most of your life that going to college is a recipe for success in your adult life. You’ll get a good education, which will lead to a good job, which will lead to making a decent living for yourself and your family. However, people often focus so much on telling you how successful college will make you that they forget to tell you how to be successful when you’re actually in college. In this post, I’ll be going over five of my best tips for being more successful in college as well as recommending an awesome product that will for sure help you get on the right track.
*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which are marked in gold. If you purchase a product through one of these links, I receive a small commission at no cost to you. I will only ever recommend products I truly believe in and think my audience will love.*
1. Don’t skip class
Okay, okay I am definitely guilty of skipping class once or twice. I’ve stayed up too late and slept through my 8:00 a.m. and I’ve accidentally scheduled job interviews during class without thinking, but I still firmly believe that the first step to good grades and overall college success is going to class. Skipping is a major productivity killer because you unconsciously teach your brain that class doesn’t matter and therefore the work involved doesn’t matter either.
Even if the professor posts the Powerpoints online, attendance isn’t part of your grade, or it’s a giant lecture class where the professor doesn’t know who you are, you’re still going to gain way more from attending class than from teaching yourself the material on your own.
With that being said, sometimes missing class really is unavoidable because of illness, mental health, or other mandatory commitments. If that’s the case, be sure to be proactive to make sure you can gain as much benefit from the class as possible even though you aren’t able to go. Email the professor in advance to tell them you’ll be missing, get the notes from someone else in the class, and go to the professor’s office hours to discuss anything you have questions about after reviewing the notes.
2. Meet with your professors
Communicating with professors about when you’ll be absent is important, but it’s only one part of developing a relationship with them. Not all of your professors will be friendly or helpful, but the ones that are willing to help you out can be a major asset to your college experience and greatly increase your chances of being successful.
Not only can meeting with professors help you do better in their classes, but these relationships can be crucial to your success beyond college because professors you have a good relationship with can act as references or write you letters of recommendation for jobs, internships, scholarships, and more. They can also help you plan for your future, give you advice for job interviews, or help you in your job/internship application process. A faculty member at my school helped me a bunch with my summer internship search and helped me do the research pictured below for an interview.
In addition to being an academic resource, professors can also be a great resource for general life advice. They’ve already done the whole college thing (quite a bit of it, in fact) and they can give you advice on what it’s like to be a “real adult.” Some professors can even be a resource for some fun, easy work opportunities. I know a few people whose professors have asked them to dog sit and it’s a great gig. I mean, dogs + money + building a better relationship with your professor = a great day!
3. Follow a consistent sleep schedule
Lots of productivity advice will suggest you get up quite early to be your most productive, but let’s be honest, it’s college. Sometimes extracurricular activities don’t even begin until 9:00 or 10:00 p.m., besides the fact that many college students simply enjoy staying up late. If you’re not up to transforming yourself into a morning person (which is an awesome way to be more successful and I totally recommend it if you’re feeling like reinventing yourself), doing your best to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day can help a ton and definitely increases your productivity and success.
4. Plan, plan, plan!
It’s definitely no secret that I LOVE planning and I swear by paper planners. I’m a little bit Type A so I *may* love planning more than the average person. Nevertheless, even if you’d prefer not to lay out an hourly plan for each day, I still recommend planning to some extent. I find writing down a specific, detailed plan to be instrumental to my academic and life success, so that I remember to do everything I’ve committed to and don’t drive myself crazy doing everything inefficiently. Even if you just use a to do list app (my favorite is Swipes, which you can find here) or the calendar on your phone, writing down your priorities decreases the chances you’ll forget about your responsibilities, thereby increasing your chances of being successful.
Want to learn more about the way I use my planner to keep track of my assignments? Check out this post!
5. Evaluate your needs and strategize accordingly
While all of the above tips generally help people be more successful in college, you can only figure out what works best for YOU if you know what you need to work on. I’ve been trying to customize my productivity system forever and I’m always trying new ways to evaluate my current system and figuring out what kind of updates need to be made.
Recently, I was introduced to The Successful College Student Workbook created by Tori of Chase the Write Dream. This workbook is 22 pages of awesome and I went through it step by step. The workbook asks the right questions to help you evaluate your habits, routines, and expectations to see what’s working for you, what isn’t, and how to adjust your life to help you be more successful. If it sounds good to you (and why wouldn’t it?!) you can buy it here for only $9!
Which of these tips do you already use in your life? Which are you hoping to implement? What tips do you have for being successful in college?