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An Attitude for Success at College

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Doubting your choice of college right now? Feeling frustrated? Are your grades not what you expected; for that matter, are your courses not what you expected?

You may be thinking of leaving school and taking a break. You should just know that about 43% of students who begin college never finish, and most who leave do so during their first year. This exit from college is not only because students are not academically prepared. Sometimes they are not attitudinally prepared.

Here are some suggestions for getting into a mind set that can help you be successful at college and get through all four years with a degree.

Get focused

It’s okay to not know what you want to be when you grow up, but you should be exploring what you’re interested in at this point. Get proactive. You need to find something that seems like a goal for you or a course program that you enjoy learning about.

One thing you can do is immerse yourself in what you are already studying by actually taking the time to study and read or by asking for help from the professor and/or other students in your class. Another thing you can do is sit in on some courses you are not enrolled in to see if you can ignite a spark. Finally, you could visit your Career Center and ask to take interest tests or to do some career exploration through shadowing. Find something you want to latch onto!

Get help

Students can suffer from all kinds of problems that can drag down their performance at college. These problems range from relationship problems to financial problems to health problems. You should know that every campus has a student affairs area that works to help students in all and more of these areas. There are health centers, counselors, financial aid staff, and more. (See our article about campus support.) All you have to do is ask. Asking is not giving in but problem solving.

Find good friends

Don’t think the students in your dorm complex, in your classes, or in your cafeteria are the only kinds of students out there. I f you are not finding people to connect with, try new venues and new activities where you will be more likely to find people you like. I f you take part in things of interest, you will find like-minded people, and friends will support you. If you like music, go to a concert, join the university singers group, take a job at the college radio station. Look for people you can communicate with.

Take Control

Many students with new freedoms can let either money or time get out of hand. This lack of control can create anxiety and be overwhelming. Take things in hand. Use a calendar to set schedules of due dates and set goals for when things will get done. Set a budget and get a prepaid credit card that will allow you a set limit to spend.

Be healthy

How? First, get enough sleep. You can stay up late, but don’t be foolish and not recoup after some late nights. Eat right. Don’t skip meals or eat only junk. And, get some good exercise. You don’t have to be an athlete to stay in shape. Play tennis, ski, go to the rec center, take hikes or walks.

You are in charge of your life. If you have that attitude, a few set backs will not keep you from making your college experience successful.