Being successful in your academic life in college is critical to your future success in the employment sector. Sure there are the exceptions to the rule that land great jobs through connections or luck, but it is unwise to “plan” on being one of those exceptions.
There are a few critical things that you can do from day 1 of freshman year to help to ensure academic success:
The first is committing to be a “full-time” student. That doesn’t mean just taking a full load of courses. It means taking the time to actually attend class, taking notes during class, studying for exams, and getting the most out of the course that you can.
You paid for the class after all, don’t you want to get your money’s worth?
Slacking off and having a good time might be fun for the first two years, but when you are short credits to graduate and have to face paying out more money (or taking on more loans) to be able to finish in four and a half years (or worse, five), it won’t seem like the best plan.
Even worse is the amount of work it will take you to repair that GPA after even one semester of slacking off.
Who wants to have to choose their law school, graduate school, medical school, or career based on who will accept someone with a less than stellar GPA?
Do you remember learning how to outline?
That skill is invaluable for achieving academic success, especially when taking several different courses.
Take notes during class and then add the most important concepts/information into your outline when you are studying. At the end of the semester, you will have a comprehensive outline of the course to prepare for the final with.
You will look so much smarter than all the slackers around you that are shuffling through notes trying to remember what was important.
Some professors may allow outlines during exams, make sure to ask! Outlining is also critical in law school, so if you are planning on continuing your education, you will already have mastered that skill before you hit the law school doors.
Finally, choose courses you like. No matter how much you want to be a doctor, you aren’t going to be one if you don’t like math and science. Or maybe you will, but you probably won’t be a happy one. Focus on what skills you have that can be developed into a career and what kind of courses you enjoy.
It’s your money, your future career, and your life – take an active role in it and make college a successful and rewarding experience.