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How do you succeed in college?

Succeeding in college is hard work. With the right mindset, you can do it.

Make a commitment.

Committing to achieving a goal is a strong predictor of college success. Students who enter college with a “just-testing-the-waters” attitude are less likely to be successful than students who are determined to complete, despite any obstacles they might face. So, before you enroll and make that first tuition payment, make sure you have a clear idea about what you want to accomplish. Start by matching your career interests and skills with your education options.

Stay focused.

There are hundreds of courses from which to choose. How do you know which ones will lead to a degree on time? Sit down with your advisor and create a college completion plan. Follow Learn More Indiana’s tips to finish faster, so you don’t waste time and money on courses that won’t count toward your degree.

Be realistic about the time commitment.

Most students have commitments in addition to college courses—a part- or full-time job, extracurricular activities or family responsibilities. Know that for every hour you spend in class per week, you will have to double that time for studying and doing homework outside of class. Failure to manage your time can lead to failing grades, putting you back a semester or more. You want to make sure you are prepared to graduate on time.

Be ready to work hard.

For many students, the demands of a full course load, homework and studying come as a shock. The study habits that got you through high school will probably not work in college. Seek out resources and people to help you: tutoring centers, study buddies (as long as you’re actually studying!), academic success centers, even a friend who asks if you are sticking to your time management goals each week. Your advisor and your college’s homepage should be able to direct you to helpful resources.

Get to know your planner.

You’ll hear it again and again—time management is key to succeeding in college (and in life). Get a daily planner (paper or electronic) and use it. Make note of exams, homework due dates, personal appointments and even times you plan to study or do homework. Writing down specific times to study will help you remember that you have made a commitment to succeed.

Wondering if you’re up for the challenge? Check to see if you’re college-ready.

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