Going to college and earning a degree is no small task. Even with lots of scholarships and diligence, it can take you several years of your life and thousands of dollars out of your pocket to achieve. So whether you’re fresh out of high school or returning to school after a break, it’s important to take it seriously and do what you can to maximize your success and get good college experience as a college student. Here are four ways to set yourself up for success while you earn a college degree.
1- Choose Your School Wisely
There seems to be an infinite number of colleges and universities out there to choose from (many of which have online programs), so it can be a daunting task to make a decision on where to get your degree. But if you just make a list of the factors that mean something to you, you’ll be set up well to evaluate any candidate. Factors to consider include distance, cost, degrees offered, school values, and whether you like how the campus looks and feels.
2- Consider Online, Traditional and Hybrid Schooling
You also consider carefully whether you would most benefit from online, traditional, or hybrid learning during your college education. Lots of factors play into this, such as your personality, the pace you’re setting for yourself, and the stage of life you’re in. You might find that a combination is best. For example, you could take all of your classes in-person during the main semesters but take online classes over the summer. You can always transition from one method to another later on if you find that you’re not loving the method you’ve chosen.
3- Spend Time Studying
This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s really important. Even if you think you can skirt by with passing (or even better) grades, neglecting to apply yourself in this way will almost always come back to haunt you later. You might see it in a lower GPA than you wanted, a loss of some scholarship money because of missing grade requirements, or perhaps just a sense of regret that you didn’t really do your best. So whether your college has a library that reminds you of Hogwarts or not, there will almost certainly be places on campus conducive to knocking out homework and preparing yourself for exams.
4- Give Yourself Margin
Regardless of whether you choose to take classes online or in-person, time at home (even if that means a dorm room) or somewhere else just resting or spending time with friends is important. Give yourself the work-and-rest rhythm you need to be successful. This doesn’t only mean taking breaks from studying during the day when your brain feels fried. It also means getting proper sleep at night. Building in a good margin for yourself will help prevent burnout in the long run.
In the end, your college experience is largely going to be what you make it. Take advantage of the opportunity you have to pursue higher education, and make the most of every moment; you’ll thank yourself later!