Wow, parents, can you believe in just a few months we’ll be helping you unload carfuls of dorm supplies, cool purple stuff and welcoming your pride and joy to his or her new college home? As you consider this time of transition, it might be helpful to take some time over the summer one-on-one to discuss the following Top Ten Tips for Success in College with your college-bound student. I did this with my three students and I’ll bet it will make a difference for yours….
1. Create a vision of what you want to accomplish in college and put it in writing. Such as:
a. Make the Dean’s List
b. Study Abroad in Italy
c. Graduate with Honors
d. Join or lead a student organization
e. Have internships with __________
2. Create a plan for this semester and then this first year that will help you move toward fulfilling your vision. Such as:
a. Maintain a GPA of 3.5 or better
b. Meet with the Director of Study Abroad Programs
c. Attend the Student Life Organizations Fair
d. Make at least three to five new friends.
3. Go to every class. EVERY class.
With an average class size of 18, time spent in the classroom is valuable and unique to each student. With hands-on learning and class discussion, attendance is vital to insure a successful semester.
4. When you create a class schedule, also schedule time in your day to study and complete assignments.
With the collegiate class schedule allowing for more time outside of the classroom, it provides a customized learning routine but it can also make it easier to procrastinate. At HPU, students will need to study outside the classroom twice as much as they are in the classroom, so plan it right into your daily schedule. Students are given a syllabus for each class at the beginning of the semester, this is a great tool to get an overview of the entire semester, manage time, and insure assignments (big and small) are completed with the most efficiency.
5. Find a place on campus where you can study and are most productive so that you are using your time wisely.
The HPU campus provides numerous locations to study and get things done; from Smith Library or the UC Learning Commons to Slane Student Center, private study rooms in academic buildings, or by the pool, there is a place for every learner.
6. Finish all of your work and studying for next Monday before beginning weekend plans.
There is ALWAYS something happening on campus; whether it’s a Cultural Enrichment Series event, a movie in the Extraordinaire Cinema, sporting events or a fundraiser, HPU is an active campus. It’s good advice to finish your work ahead of time so you can enjoy the weekend and avoid the risk of cramming.
7. Know your professors before you really need them.
The professors at HPU are actively involved in the learning process inside and out of the classroom. Meeting with your professor when you need extra help or further explanation and being actively involved and prepared during class will help your professor get to know you so they can better assist you throughout the semester.
8. Take care of yourself by eating well and getting plenty of sleep.
HPU provides a variety of dining options for students throughout the day, and kiosks for those students on-the-go in the morning. Sleep is essential. While there is no “bedtime”, students should aim to get an average 7-8 hours of sleep to be well rested and ready for whatever the day might bring.
9. Learn to say NO to things that will keep you from successfully reaching your goals for the semester and year.
Remember those goals? It will be hard to make the Dean’s List if you miss assignments, skip class, or don’t devote time to your schoolwork. Leading an organization on campus will be difficult if you say yes to every invitation. It’s okay to say NO.
10. Get involved in something outside the classroom that will help you grow and learn, but do not over-commit yourself.
There are over 100 organizations on campus–there is something for EVERYONE! The Activities Fair at the beginning of the semester gives an overview of every opportunity to get involved. Find what interests you and what you are the most passionate about and dive right in!
BONUS: Stay grounded in your beliefs and be yourself. This is what makes you wonderful and will teach others about believing in yourself and living a fruitful life.
Having been through the college process with all three of my children and watching thousands of incoming freshmen over the years, it’s my believe that these pieces of advice can make a huge impact on your child’s outlook and their success in college. Don’t underestimate your ability to be a positive influence in their lives as they turn the page to this new and exciting chapter.