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 Aegean 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).