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Becoming a Successful College Student

By jodinutsch Mar 08, 2011 1057 Words
Becoming a Successful College Student
“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which one has overcome.”  Booker T. Washington. Throughout life people are faced with a variety of obstacles. How they choose to overcome these obstacles determines whether they become successful or not, it would be nice if there was an instruction manual to tell one how to be successful, how to overcome these obstacles. One of the most difficult obstacles facing me today is college. I have seen that often times people go into college with their eyes closed tightly, meaning they are totally unprepared for what lies ahead. There are a variety of aspects that determine whether I will be successful in college. Meeting basic requirements to enter college, learning how to study on the college level, and managing my time are all key factors in becoming a successful college student. To enroll in college, I must first meet the basic requirements of that institution. For almost all academically based colleges, a basic requirement is a high school diploma or G.E.D. After providing a copy of my diploma, I then had to take a placement test to assure my success in college. The Personalized Achievement Summary System, in many colleges called the pass test, assessed my understanding of college level classes and placed me accordingly. Community colleges, as the one I am attending are available around the United States. Most community colleges offer a two year degree program, which will prepare me to enter a more substantial college to receive a four year degree or higher, if I wish. Requirements for some colleges are more difficult than others. Some colleges base acceptance on the student’s high school grade point average and or SAT scores. Colleges with difficult admission requirements are not only looking for a student with higher standards, but one that will fit in with the foundation as a whole meaning; Harvard Law School looks for higher scholarly students with an interest in entering the study of law. Learning how to study on a college level is one of my most difficult challenges. I must be organized and disciplined; it is a necessity that I have a plan of action. For me, each class has different requirements and I put together a “study plan” for each class. A study plan is a formal, highly structured but easy way to not only do well in my individual classes, but to get me from my freshman year to graduation. This is a written commitment that states I will achieve certain goals that directly relate to my classes. Knowing for certain what is expected of me from each class. Reviewing the syllabus and writing down important dates, when test, paper and special projects are due. Peoples learning styles are different in every aspect that each individual looks different. I am a visual learner, so the more I see the information given the better I can learn and absorb what is being taught. Flash cards are a major part of my study plan. ”Why you ask”? Reading the information finding good strong details and then reading it again to write it on flash cards has already given me the upper hand in remembering and retaining that information. I feel having a good study strategy in college leads to being a successful college student. Time management is another aspect of college that is a challenge for me. Is there ever enough hours in a day? I quickly learned that managing my time is one of the most difficult aspects of being in school. With so much to do and keep track of, strong time management skills can make all the difference. In college, I have less in class time, more outside of class work, and a great deal of freedom and flexibility.  Managing my time wisely has taken some innovational planning on my part. In order to manage my time successfully, having an awareness of what my goals are has assisted me in prioritizing my activities, providing me with the opportunity to create a schedule that works for me. This personal attention gives me the flexibility to include the things that are most important to me, for instance going to watch my son wrestle. I put aside at least three hours a day for my studies, if the class at hand requires more time, such as preparing for test or writing a paper, then I adjust my time accordingly. I have arranged a quiet place in my house that I retreat to every night and concentrate on homework. No television, phone or outside distractions. I take a few minutes to clear my thoughts and view my daily planner, prioritizing my work load. Instead of procrastinating, I try to put my least favorite subject first, making it fun in any aspect probable. Writing papers is a difficult task for me. Searching my own brain for intellectual thoughts and placing them on a blank computer screen is seriously frightening. In this case, I allow myself ample time to be creative, planning and managing my time appropriately. In addition to scheduling my homework, every day I set aside an hour for myself to do with as I please. I spend this time away from my school obligations, reading a book, watching the news and talking with my family. Learning how to manage my time wisely is an obstacle achievable with some self discipline. Keeping focused on the day at hand, no matter how frustrating things may become. Booker T. Washington clutched the thought of success in words that I can relate to. Being successful in college is more than showing up for classes and scrapping by. My academic progress, how I strategize all the demands of college, being a first year student, study habits to managing my time, are all obstacles in which I measure as success. Taking the initiative to be organized and worthy of the education I am seeking is a commitment. Many obstacles will challenge my capabilities of achieving these goals. It is how I set forth my plan of action about attaining my goals as a measure of being successful. Academic accomplishment comes in many forms. For me, it's a stellar transcript that opens doors into a great future.

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