How to become a successful college student


Sequoia Cumming

Ashling Dennehy 22′ studying in her dorm at Pace Pleasantville.

Krissy Scott

These past two years have presented their fair share of challenges. And if you’re an incoming college student during a pandemic like I was, it’s probably presented to you even more! If you’re starting your college career and don’t know how to ensure your academic success while maintaining a well-balanced personal life, this article is for you! Here are my top 6 tips on becoming an all-around successful student!


  1. Do your research! 


Knowing about your institution and what it offers is crucial for your own knowledge and personal college experience. By doing so you can get the most out of your college community. I’ve known multiple college students who skate through their four years without any background knowledge on their campus, what it offers, and how to get involved. Make sure you know the full scope of your opportunities before choosing to not participate in them. Knowledge is power! 


  1. Connect with professors! 


Communication with all professors, especially within your major, can give you so much more clarity on how to be successful in your academics. By the end of your freshman year, you’ll have a plethora of knowledge on just about anything from professionals. 


  1. Maintaining strict priorities!


 I strongly urge everyone and anyone to make a list of priorities. This list will definitely help you accomplish all your assignments before the deadline, and actually encourage you to stick to them! Try to organize a list ranging from most demanding to least demanding tasks and complete them in that order, you definitely won’t go wrong! Nothing is more satisfying than placing a checkmark under the “completed” column on your to-do list.


  1. Keep in contact with advisors!


 Advisors are like little guardian angels in disguise. Need to unload your thoughts about a rigorous course? Contact your advisor! Advisors are faculty members to never shy from nor feel intimidated by. Not only do they advise you on academic inquiry and offer assistance in organizing a schedule, but they’re also a great ear for any personal issues you’ve experienced as well as concerns that arise throughout the year. Reach out to them! I’m sure they’ll be happy to receive a note from you.


  1. It’s okay to say no! 


Not only do you have to keep an eye on your academics, but there’s a ton of social events happening at the same time? What should you say? I’ll leave that up to you, but if you want to submit a quality paper on time, saying no would be best. It’s okay to decline offers to go out, especially when it’s at your own learning expense. As a student, your main priority is to learn, and that may mean saying no a few times too many. It’s all worth it for that shimmering A at the end of your term!


  1. Give yourself a break!


Powering through the semester is amazing, and I seriously admire anyone who is able to do so. But losing steam is natural! And when that happens, never hesitate to take a break. You always want to put your best foot forward, especially in your assignment submissions, so giving yourself a breather is a great way to refocus and regroup after sitting in the same place for so long. You’ll come back feeling much lighter and ready to tackle that 7-page paper, trust me.


  1. Keep your eye on the target!


If your goal is to maintain flawless grades in all your classes, keep on that streak! If there’s one thing I learned after my first year, it’s that consistency is crucial! If you’re feeling undermotivated, revisit what matters to you most; what drives you. Whether it’s snagging a top-paying job right after graduation, or making your parents proud, taking energy from those can help you feel better prepared to embrace the entire journey!


College is meant to give you academic insight and enlightenment, but along the way provide experiences that’ll turn into essential life skills that you’ll eventually utilize as you mature. There will be hiccups along the way, but take everything in stride! Rest assured knowing that you belong to a community that has your best interest and is always interested in how you’re doing. All the best to you in your first year!