Your Academic Journey
Tips to Stay on Track and in School
College is an exciting time. With each new semester comes eager anticipation for what’s ahead. You’ll typically be motivated and enthusiastic about the fresh start. But, then the daily grind eventually settles in. Remember that college is not a sprint. It’s a marathon. Stay focused on the end goal and why you’re there. Use these tips to stay on track to graduation.
- Build a personal network
Surround yourself with supportive friends and colleagues. They’ll be the people you lean on when you need help. Be sure to take advantage of campus activities. It’s at these events that you’ll meet new people and make new contacts. Also, study groups can be a great way to build relationships, gain new perspectives, and make studying more fun.
- Find a mentor
One of the best ways to learn and grow is through one-on-one coaching. Mentors can be found in a number of places. They are often teachers, counselors, family friends, coworkers (or bosses), and even peers or older students. Find someone who can use their experience to offer you advice along your academic journey and throughout your career. Having multiple mentors is encouraged.
- Keep an eye on your budget
Time and money are both limited resources. Manage them wisely. During your college years, you’ll have to make some sacrifices. Put off unnecessary purchases until later. Don’t try to live like a career professional while you’re on a college budget. Falling behind on expenses is a sure path to disaster. Visit Managing Your Money for tips on budgeting and spending.
- Maximize your time
When you’re a college student, it may seem that you have lots of extra time. Some classes have only a couple of tests, and research papers may not be due until the end of a semester. Don’t fall into the procrastination trap. Focus on your top priorities and make steady progress each day. If you’re not working, treat college like a job. You came to college to learn. Use your time wisely.
- Stay in touch with friends and family
Homesickness happens. You’re not alone. While it is common among freshman, it can sneak up on you at any time. Keep in touch with your friends and family. They miss you too. And they want to hear about what you’re doing at school.
- Ask for help
Eventually, everyone gets overwhelmed. There’s no shame in asking for help when you need it. Don’t let stress consume your life and make you miserable. Talk to your professors, academic advisor, and mentors. Explain your situation and ask for advice. You may be surprised at how much people will want to help you.