College Success Tips: 5 Practical Ways to Get Ahead


College life requires hard work, perseverance, and balance. Read on as Tucson tutor Blake C. shares some of the best college success tips to keep in mind…


We all know that college can be a challenge. We also know that avoiding procrastination can be quite difficult when faced with the huge transition that is the college living experience. So here are some college success tips that can make your life a lot easier:

1. Go to Class – By far the most important thing you can do in college, no matter how tempting it might be to ditch, is to attend class. Lectures are where the teachers tell you what they want you to know. Basically, they are telling you exactly what you will be tested on.

2. Pay Attention – It’s not enough to just plop your butt in the seat and expect to do well. You have to pay attention and take notes. You have to think about what your professor is saying. You have to consider how each day’s lecture relates to what you’ve already learned.

3. Try to Make Connections – As I have progressed through my college career, I have noticed how often the discussions from one class relate to another, or how the discussions from class relate to my own life, my own experiences, or how some of my favorite things in the world came to be. This helps tremendously in giving me a reason to care about what I’m learning beyond merely the concern for a good grade. Search for your own reasons to care. Try to envision how what you’re learning in each class can improve the quality of your life, your understanding, and your own sense of well-being and fascination with the world in which we live.

4. Avoid Procrastination – Aside from the stress caused by always waiting for the last minute, procrastinating is going to have deadly consequences for your ability to foster your own love of learning. One of the best college success tips is to become excited about your field and to exercise your own passionate exploration of the knowledge related to your chosen degree path. It is impossible to feel good about learning when you constantly put things off to the last moment. School becomes work when you do this. You’ve got your whole life to work, so my earnest suggestion is to keep on top of things and enjoy your college experience with the secure knowledge that classes are going well.

5. Make Your Class Schedule Work for You – By far the most important skill in college, or in life for that matter, is time management. We all know how much fun there is to be had at college and how exciting this new bigger social environment can be, but we’ve got to set aside the time to get things done; after all, the real reason we go to college is to learn.

To make your schedule work for you, you simply have to be aware of one simple fact. Even when you’re not in class your friends probably are. There’s nothing really social to do. So, you’ve got no excuse. Use the time between your classes wisely. Make sure to leave room for a lunch break. Make sure to bring your reading assignments for the next day of classes with you, so you can use your gaps to get some work done. Stay away from the dorm until your school day is done. It’s hard to work when distractions are readily at hand. Spend your breaks in the library instead. And, if you really want to make life easy, spend an hour or two at the library after your last class to get some more work done. You’ll still get home before 5, only now you’ll have the whole evening to do as you please.

Do all of these five things and not only will you be on top of your coursework, when it comes time to study for exams you’ll find you only need an hour or two to review course materials, instead of cramming as if you’ve never seen them before.

BlakeCBlake C. tutors in various subjects, including math, reading, and SAT prep, in Tucson, AZ and online. A Flinn Scholar, Blake C. graduated from The University of Arizona with a degree in Business Management in 2007 and later returned for a second Bachelor’s in Music Theory History and Criticism, which was awarded in December of 2013. Learn more about Blake here!



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