Ten tips on how to be a successful college student


Want to know how to be a successful college student? Follow these 10 simple tips and you will be well on your way to being a successful college student.


1 – Show Up

I had a professor that said college students are the only people who pay for something and hope they don’t get it.

This professor was referring to the excitement and joy students experience when class is canceled. Even if attendance isn’t required, you should go to every class. Only miss if you are so sick  that you won’t be able to take anything away from the lesson.

Every time you miss class, you will miss out on valuable content and class discussions, as well as knowing what exactly the professor expects from you.

2- Do every assignment and don’t fall behind

study-deskIt is easier to maintain an A the whole time, than it is to recover from an F or a D.

I once got a 56% on a midterm and it dropped me from a 98% to a 61% in class. To recover from this, I  spent the rest of the semester getting A’s on all my assignments. I even got an A- on the final.

After all of that, I was only able to walk away with a B (it was a B- but I spoke with the professor; get to know your professors).

Finally, just do every assignment; never take a zero on anything. Getting 10% on something is better than nothing; it will all add up at the end.

3 – Sit in the front/ participate in class

Sitting in the front or near the front will help you stay active and alert, and help keep you from getting distracted.

It is hard to get distracted when all you can see is the professor and the professor can easily see what you are doing. Also, make sure that you are actively trying to answer questions, ask questions, and just participate overall.

This will allow you to be involved in what is being taught.

4 – Take notes

I was once told that the brightest memory is no match for the dullest ink.

Our memories are never as good as we think they are when it comes to remembering what was taught in class. Take notes; this not only helps you remember what was taught in class but also helps keep you be actively involved in what is being taught. 


5 – Planning for the future

Sooner or later it, will come time to graduate; have a plan and be ready.

No one wants to be an unemployed college graduate, or be considering going to more school and more debt because you don’t know what to do. Meet with career services, meet with your professor’s, and talk to them about your future and your goals.

Go get help from internship services, go to career fairs, get out of your comfort zone and reach out to others.

Remember, homework is not what you will be doing for the rest of your life; you cannot ignore it, but you will have to do more if you really want to get somewhere.

6 – Deal with disappointment

It happens, we don’t always get the grades we want or the results that we were hoping for.

But let’s face it, this is just getting you ready for your future career. Life after college has nothing to do with getting good grades or a perfect GPA. It is about how you deal with challenges and disappointment.

Students often want the easy A, but it is more important to challenge yourself and learn to deal with disappointment.

7 – Balance

balanceHow many times have you been told to prioritize and balance your schedule?

The easiest way to do this is to treat school like a job, set hours, take the weekend off, don’t work all 7 days. There is truly no need for an all-nighter if you just plan out your days. Once you become overwhelmed, school becomes less enjoyable and more difficult.

Study hard, but always set aside time to do something you enjoy.

8 – Community

There is a whole world off campus.

Take time to learn from it, and experience it. The experiences outside of the classroom will allow you to glean more from the things you are taught in class.

It is always beneficial to see the real-world application of what you are learning.

Get involved.

Don’t just do school.

Work and go to school.

Volunteer and go to school.

Recreate and go to school.

Don’t let school get in the way of your whole educational experience.

9 – Get help

It might be hard to admit, but you are not perfect in every subject.

So get help!

Most, if not all schools offer some kind of tutoring centers or help. For certain classes, I was spending 2-5 hours a day in the tutoring center getting help with the material.

There are people on campus with the knowledge and desire to help those that struggle with the material; reach out to them, get the help you need to be a successful college student.

This is not embarrassing, this is smart. Take advantage of the resources provided to you.

10 – Have fun

successful college student on campusJust remember, college will come and go like anything else.

Take time to enjoy and get the most out of your college experience. Participate in extracurricular activities on and off campus, get ready for life after college, and do well in your classes.

College can easily become overwhelming, not fun, and not enjoyable.

However, I believe if you follow the points laid out above, you will not only be a successful college student, but college can also become a fun and exciting time in your life.


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