Live these 15 tips (and less than 300 words) and I Guarantee Your Success in College

Below is a list of 15 tips that, if truly followed, will guarantee any student’s success in college. While this is specifically aimed at undergraduates, with a few small exceptions, these apply to graduate students, too. I would love to hear feedback and additional items in the comments. 


  1. College really is harder than high school and is a completely different world. Junior and Senior courses will also be completely different than freshmen and sophomore courses.
  2. Ideally, absolutely no more than 10-15 hours working for full time students, if you even work. On-campus jobs are ideal, if you need income.
  3. Never take a semester “off” – not even summers. Be prepared to dedicate 10-12 hours per week, per class (counting study time and class time). In summer semesters, this will usually be doubled, if not tripled or quadrupled per class.
  4. Be prepared to buy lots of expensive books (we’re talking $100+ per book). Have a good supply of paper, pens, staples, etc. You need a good MacBookPro and a DropBox account with 50-100 GB capacity, too.
  5. Read the official Catalog, Student Handbook, your degree plan/degree requirements, and the syllabus for each class, and read them often.
  6. Attend every class, always, no matter what.
  7. Complete every assignment, always, and read and follow the directions carefully.
  8. Never take a class without finding out about the course and the professor.
  9. Talk to professors (and graduate students, if you’re at a university) and talk to them often.
  10. Get help and advice often, even when “you don’t need it.”
  11. Find one or two individuals, anyone who works at the college, who you feel comfortable talking to about anything.
  12. Limit participation in extra curricular activities. One group is enough, if not too much. No more than 2-3 hours a week. Never attend Parties (the capital “P” is on purpose), ever.
  13. Take chances; look for learning opportunities.
  14. Always start early and have several backup plans for everything.
  15. Remember that college is a learning experience (an open mind is required!) with the reward way down the road.


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