Chances are, if you’re in college, you want to do well. Everyone knows that college is expensive. Most students have made the decision to go to college even though that attendance will mean the accumulation of high-interest debt. A smart person will not take on such a burden only to squander it away not passing classes. College is the time to learn all the skills you will need to find success throughout your life. These skills are not just the ones your classes are concerned with, but they are also the skills that you apply in taking these classes. What this means is that it’s not only what you learn in your college classes, but how you take these classes.
The truth is, it doesn’t just require a smart brain to do well in college. It requires dedication, organization, and great time-management skills. These three facets of collegial success will pay off, not while you’re pursuing a degree, but for the rest of your entire life. These three traits are the traits nearly every successful person has spent time honing. If you develop these traits within yourself, you will do well in school, and you will be less stressed overall. You’ll have a plan. You’ll be prepared.
First and foremost, the number one way to do well at college is to pay attention to your level of dedication. Your intelligence and knowledge will help you earn the A’s, but it is your dedication that is the fuel to your engine. Dedication is the thing that keeps you focused and moving forward. Dedication is the thing that helps you finish a project when all you want to do is take a nap. Dedication is the thing that helps you make the choice between going out or studying.
Sometimes, unfortunately, dedication is not consistent. One day you’re set on making sure that your studies are your number one priority, but later that night with a party invitation sitting in your email, you’re feeling a little less motivated. Sometimes you have to chase dedication down, grab it by the tail, and force it to stay with you.
One way to remain dedicated is to write a quick reminder on why you’re here at college. Put a post-it note in a place you see everyday with this message. This daily reminder will keep you focused on what matters long-term, not short-term.
Okay, organization is a really boring word. It calls to mind housewives who have meticulously sorted their junk drawers. It calls to mind anal-retentiveness. But, the truth is that organization will play a huge role in your success in college and beyond. Organization basically means having it together. Organization means being well informed and having a plan for the future. Staying organized will mean that no assignment, no test, no paper will creep up on you.
Organization is a trial and error process and everyone’s technique looks different. The best thing you can do to get organized is keep a planner. Each morning, consult your planner and look into the future. Make sure every assignment, test, etc. is added to your planner. You will be able to make better decisions because you will know the layout of your upcoming week.
Time management is the final trait to your success. Time management is the one trait that will set you apart from your peers. Being able to manage your time well will also help you balance work and fun, so you never feel like you’re missing out. Time management simply means that your most valuable asset—your time—will not be wasted. Poor time management happens when people procrastinate, putz around, and when they do not utilize the best times of the day to get work done.
If you want to improve your time management skills, consult your planner from the section above, make a list of the tasks you need to complete, when you need to complete them by, and how long each one will take. Now, think about the time you have to do these things. Ask yourself when the best time to complete each task would be. Ask yourself in what order should you do the tasks. By thinking about your time purposefully, you are managing your time. Instead of scrambling or wasting your time, you are taking charge. This skill will be invaluable to you in college and beyond.