Simple Secrets to College Success

Mary Joan Nastri, Staff Writer

The start of the new school year will be coming sooner than you think. And, if you’re a new student or a returning student the following secrets to success may help keep you on track.

You have probably read lists of things you should do in college to increase your success, but I’d like to mention just three steps that have produced huge results for me as a student and a working professional.

Starting a new school year is similar to the New Year and its resolutions. We make resolutions that are sort of vague like lose weight, eat healthy, do homework etc. But, the ones for this school year that I share here are not the same. They’re more intentional and frankly, common sense.

I dislike quoting Woody Allen because I’m not a huge fan; however, the following quote is completely true, “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” My experience has shown a direct link between the number of absences and mediocre grades. And, we’re not here to be mediocre.

Most times I’ll show up a bit early to class and during these times I’ve learned about the difficulty of assignments, up coming quizzes etc. through the other early to class participants. Furthermore, if you need a favor the instructor will likely remember who you are compared to the no shows.

The next suggestion is communication. Now, I know there is a lot of press out there stating employers are looking for candidates with good communication skills. However, the focus tends to be how you speak to others. I’d like to highlight the other part of communication and that is listening. We always, at least I know I do this, want to be right. But, in the workplace and in school, listening is the far more important part of communication.

So, shut off your phones, don’t check Facebook while sitting in class and give your full attention to your instructor and classmates. I guarantee you’ll learn a lot more than you ever have.

And, now to my last suggestion, I’ve learned it a little too late, but I’m pleased I learned it. Ask for help. You may believe the question you have is too silly, or will embarrass you. However, my experience has taught me that many others have the same question, but don’t have the courage to ask. It doesn’t make you look silly. It makes you look thoughtful and smart.

Hope these suggestions help. Good luck this year!