How to succeed in college


The Online Education Database offers 88 Surefire Tips for Succeeding in College. It’s similar to this list of 117 ways to save money in college — and there are a lot of overlapping entries, which I think says something. The two entries in the new list I liked the most were:

3. Take risks. College isn’t just about getting good grades. It is a time to learn more about the world and yourself. Branch out and take risks. Try something new. Meet new friends.

9. Prepare for each class as though there would be a pop quiz. The benefit of this is two-fold: firstly, you’ll be more able to participate in class; secondly, you’ll be prepared if there actually is a pop quiz.

I would have added an 89th item to this list: know your limitations, especially when it comes to balancing academic and co-curricular time. Don’t expect to be able to do well in classes while being in 17 different clubs and trying to play 3 varsity sports. Lots of college students seem to have done well in classes despite so much extracurricular activity in high school (I know I did) but this is one aspect of high school culture that absolutely doesn’t carry over into college. You have to narrow down just what interests outside of class are going to merit a spot in the time budget in order to really learn as much as you can.

[Hat tip: Lifehack.org]

3 Comments

Filed under Education, Higher ed, Life in academia, Student culture

3 responses to “How to succeed in college

  1. “Prepare for each class as though there would be a pop quiz. The benefit of this is two-fold: firstly, you’ll be more able to participate in class; secondly, you’ll be prepared if there actually is a pop quiz.”

    That’s the very best reason to have pop quizzes — at the end of class. And always give a quiz the class day before and after a vacation, like Spring Break.

  2. I’ve never been a fan of pop quizzes, but over the last 1-2 semesters of teaching I’ve been slowly changing my mind about them. Now I’m thinking they’re a pretty efficient incentive for preparing for class (and a disincentive for not). The logic of “you’ll be totally lost if you don’t prepare” just isn’t enough, it seems.

  3. “The logic of “you’ll be totally lost if you don’t prepare” just isn’t enough, it seems.”

    No, they never believe that.