Every year millions of students go off to college with all kinds of hopes and dreams. During their high school graduation they are told the future is bright. As is common with any new experiences there are a lot of adjustments that students must make. There are a lot of encounters with roommates and adjustments for different ways of living. For example one student might be very accustomed to a clean room while the other likes to leave their clothes wherever they take them off. This is a common occurrence on a college campus. A good book for a college freshman is “Who Moved My Cheese” By Spencer Johnson. There will be plenty of changes during the freshman year. The first year of college is a significant time when students grow and change emotionally and intellectually. Here are a few college success tips for students to consider:

1. Arrive on campus early so that you can get to know where your classes are located.

2. Find an upper-class student who can serve as your mentor.

3. Form a study group for difficult courses right away.

4. Meet with all of the teachers during their office hours the first week of classes.

5. Focus on your fitness. Go to the gym three times a week.

6. Get to know your resident assistant. They can be very helpful.

7. Meet your faculty advisor and let him/her know your interest.

8. Meet the dean/director of your department. You never know when you will need their help.

9. Go to the library to get other books about your course topic.

10. Have fun and join an organization that allows you to network with students from other majors.

Attending college can be one of the most enjoyable experiences in life. I have met many students in college whose friendship has lasted for a lifetime. College should be a time of exploration where you get to find out many things about yourself. You can create a fresh vision for your future by participating in campus activities and taking on a leadership role in your college.

Allow your first year to be a time of seeking new information about your self and your career. If you are not exactly sure of what you want perform a career search. Sometimes just by talking to a company representative you can identify some area of interest. For example did you know that many math majors are hired by an insurance company? It’s important to have different types of career experiences throughout your college years. The freshman year is not too early to refine your career search. You can go to events to meet alumni and also attend the campus wide career fair.

Going to college is a great way to take the limits off of your possibilities. When you meet professors in their offices go prepared with questions. You must be willing to challenge yourself to learn new things from each of the courses that you attend. There may be questions that your professor is willing to answer when you are in their office. You can build a good reputation as a student who is serious about your major. Make this freshman year a success by exploring all of your options.

Dr. Stephen Jones

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