My 20 Tips for college success

Monday, November 20, 2017

  1. Be PREPARED but be FLEXIBLE: As much as I would like it to be, life isn't perfect, and as much as I frugaly plan things ahead of time they don't always go according to plan. Being prepared and planning ahead helps me not to be stressed or get anxious, but I also realize that things don't always go according to plan so I have to be flexible when things dont work out or go my way. 
  2. Your Planner is your best friend: Visualizing my daily schedule helps me stay on track and writing out my class schedule and events in my planner help me make mental notes and see what all is happening in my life. With everything you are cramming into your mind in college you barely have room to keep a mental schedule. 
  3. Don't study past 10:00 pm: I think I am the only one who feels this way, but after 9:00pm my mind usually shuts down and no matter what I do I won't be able to focus, study or remember things. I would always try to get my work or studying done earliar in the day, and with this approach I was able to go to be earlier or could spend my evening relaxing or reading a book. 
  4. Manage your time wisely: This goes back to making sure you know what is happening every day and planning extra activities around it. I knew so many people who would immediately agree to hang out with friends or go somewhere forgetting they had to study for a test, or thinking it wouldn't take that long. Studying should be first priority and taking extra time with friends or for outings should be's already in my nature and personality to say No when I have work to do, but there were times that I had to make a bigger effort. 
  5. Take a break: This is VITAL to your sanity! If you are in the midst of a major study session and feeling totally overwhelmed take a break! This can be as simple as getting up to make a cup of coffee or listen to music, but it's even better to get up and go on a walk, jump up and down, do some yoga, or whatever else will help you refocus and relieve stress.  
  6. Set an alarm and wake up every morning: I knew to many people who would sleep their life away at college. Okay, so yes, college is tiring and yes there will be some late nights, but if you manage your time you should be getting a decent amount of sleep, and I hate waking up late because I feel like I have lost so much of my day. Therefore, the best way to start your day off right is to actually set an alarm for a decent time (no later than 8:30) and faithfully wake up every day. This starts your morning off productive. 
  7. Find what makes you confident and LIVE IT: College is a world full of stress, pressures, and overwhelming lifestyles, so in the midst of the craziness you still need the ability to feel confident. For me, my confidance came through my style, because my style is self expression of my personality. Maybe yours is something different? Whatever it is, find what make you confident and faithfully live it every day! 
  8. Don't let yourself become someone else: I saw to many people change in college. I saw people become different people to fit into a certain friend group, I saw girls compromise their values and beliefs to make it into a group or organization, and I saw people easily let go of living their faith because it wasn't considered cool. 
  9. Find a friend who supports you: Having someone who is there for you, who understands you and supports you is what will help you succeed and get through the hard times. I don't know what I would have done without my college roommate, because we both helped each other when times got tough. 
  10. Get connected: I think this was the hardest part for me in college, but once I got connected with my staff team through being an RA and also joining an amazing small group college definitely felt different. I am definitely not someone who needs a place to belong, but it was great having people around you who understood what you were dealing with and who could support you. The best thing I ever did was start attending Chi Alpha which was a weekly worship night/Bible study that definitely helped me connect with God and other believers more. 
  11. Pick a night each week to have fun: As an introvert I loved staying in my room with a pint of icecream and a good movie, but most nights you are busy studying so make sure to set aside one night each week to have fun. When I say have fun I don't mean go crazy (that was everyone else in my house and on campus) but I mean this in saying that when everyone else goes out dancing or goes to the bar on Thursday nights you stay in and have your own party, invite a friend over for a movie, paint your nails, do a craft, need to take personal time for yourself! 
  12. Have something to look forward to every day: for me this was a project, getting done with a test, making a bulletin board, creating door decks, or even just brewing a cup of coffee. 
  13. Set reminders on your phones: YOU WILL THANK ME LATER!!!
  14. Leave extra early for class: It might seem ridiculous, but trust me, if you leave early for class and then get there only to realize you forgot your calculator for the chemistry test you will still have plenty of time to run back to your room and won't be nearly as stressed as you would if you had left five minutes before class:) TRUST ME! 
  15. Always bring a book with you: This is what I call my "Rory Gilmore moment" because she always brought a book with her everywhere and I loved that! In college I would always carry a book with me and read a few chapters as I was waiting for class to start. 
  16. Set a weekly schedule: When I say set a schedule I mean know when your classes are and plan your life around them accordingly. My college bestie and I had a set schedule every week of always meeting on certain days for lunch, going to yoga on Tuesday nights, and attending Bible study on Thursdays.
  17. Find your stress, running, reading, drinking tea, etc. 
  18. Your room is your home, so make it homy! I had banners, an entire gallery wall, Christmas lights, rugs, flowers, you name it in my room and people always commented on how cute and cozy it was! That was my whole purpose in decorating it how I did, was to make it cheery and inviting since I spent so much time there:) 
  19. Never say no to opportunities & believe in yourself! .....because you never know if the person you meet ends up being your best friend, or the job you apply for ends up being the best thing that happened to you or that you are able to accomplish more than you ever thought you would! 
  20. Coffee is your best friend (at least for me and 95% of all other college students)

- Madison 

1 comment

  1. Wow! I am not there yet, but these tips are AMAZING! Thank you so much!