What is a successful college student? Is it the one who makes a 4.0 every semester, the college student who already understands the importance of networking, or maybe it’s the student athlete who just wants to balance their grades and course load without losing it.

Every student in college has a different definition of what success means to them and while I am all for having a good time in college. You can never forget that you are there to get a degree.

While making good grades in college is important, so is becoming the best you, networking, and finding out what you want in life. Therefore, I am going to share my tips on how to be a successful student



How to be a successful student first beginnings with determining what you want out of college. Why are you there? Are you there following someone else’s dream? Are you there to prove a point? Or, are you there because college is a stepping-stone to your ultimate goal? Determine what you want now rather than later. This will help keep you focused and save you years of wasted time in college.

College course loads are a lot different than high school. This means you have to actually prepare. When picking your classes choose classes in which you know you will be the most tentative. If you are not a morning person do not take more classes. Obviously, some college students do not have that option because of other obligations, but if you do take advantage of it. If you do not, preparation is going to be even more important. Make sure you know your class schedule weeks in advance. Find out where each class is located before the first day of classes. How to be a successful student depends largely on how you prepare.

GET A PLANNER! Yes, I am screaming because I learned this the hard way and do not want you. When you get a planner actually use it. Writing everything down is the going to be key to college success. You will get a ton of dates thrown at you and you do not want to miss them. Getting into this habit now will only help you in the future when you land a career.

The best way to stay organized is to color code your classes. Color coding will help you keep things consistent, clear, and clean. Use your planner to write down when all your exams dates, assignment dates, and any other important dates.

Planner nowadays comes in a ton of different styles and planners. I had planners from Erin Condren to bullet journal. (I am kinda planner hoarder). As long as the planner comes with a monthly calendar and week days I am pretty much solid.

College is your chance to find life long friends. More importantly, you will be surround by the most diverse group of individuals in college. This gives you an opportunity to meet individuals from all walks of life. Use college to surround yourself with individuals who challenge you, support you and motivate you.

Being a successful student means finding a mentor. Someone who you can go to for advice or support. There is nothing like having someone who can show you the ropes. However, there is a key to finding a good mentor. A mentor-mentee relationship should come naturally and not forced. Find someone you get along with but also admire and look up to.

Like I said earlier, I am all about having a good time in college. I did, so I am not about to tell others they should not. Which is why you must study smarter and not harder. We all know a person who said they studied all week for an exam but still failed the exam. A rule of thumb is you should be studying 1 hour for every 3 credit class a week. Therefore, if the class is worth 3 credits, you should spend 9 hours studying for that class. Of course, if you do not find the class difficult that can be modified.

Asking for help is another huge part of being a successful student. It may feel difficult to ask questions during class when there are about 50-100 students in each class. But you can always ask your questions before or after class or even meet with the professor during their office hours.

I do not believe students understand how much professors want their students to come visit them. They create these office hours and let you know about them the first day of class, but yet no one uses them. A successful student understands that visiting their professor during office hours, even if its just to chat about some completely different, could mean the difference between that high B getting a bump up to a low A.

The college experience is like no other. For many, it’s the first time they have been away from home, the first time they do not have a curfew, or any one telling them what to do and when to do it. Being a successful student means understanding how important a balanced life is. So go to the football games, go to the college parties and try something new. You only get one undergrad experience make the most out of it.