- Eat. Hunger deters focus, so if you have no focus you are then simply not even there. Avoid heavy meals. Instead eat an apple, banana or granola bar as you walk to class. Eating while walking is better than not eating at all.
- Stay awake in class. Never yawn in front of your professor, never close your eyes and never and I mean never fall asleep. You can find caffeine anywhere, so look for it.
- Show interest and enthusiasm.If you have no interest in the course, but you are required to enroll, then tell yourself everyday, "I love this course. I love this course. I love this course" until you make yourself believe it.
- Participate in discussions. This does not mean take over the class or ask irrelevant questions, but your voice must be heard so all who are there know that you exist.
- Arrive with books and materials. If you are short on money, try a garage sale, thrift store, or clearance area in a major department store. Buy used books from friends, or even better plan ahead and do book exchanges where everyone wins. Your local library is a great resource. Check out books, video tapes and even laptops for FREE. The Internet also provides electronic books and many other resources for free or at a very low cost.
- Show respect for everyone in the classroom. Respect your professor, your classmates and just as importantly yourself. The person sitting next to you "is watching" you, what you say and what you do. You never know who you are going to need in the future, so work hard at making and keeping friends in class.
- Never do the minimum. Instead you should always do more. Expect more from yourself and deliver more of yourself. Demonstrate your greatness in every assignment and every test. Raise the bar for yourself, so you outshine those around you. As you rise, you extend your hand and take the others up with you.
- Avoid complaining and whining about every assignment and task. A positive attitude will help you rise while a negative attitude will ultimately bring you down. No one, and I do mean no one, enjoys sitting, teaching, working or talking to someone who is always negative and discouraging.
- Create a support group. Include students from various courses, close friends and even professors. Exchange email , cell phone and fax numbers. Set up group study times on and off campus. You do not have to suffer alone. You do not have to "figure it all out yourself." You can ask questions and help each other, just like the real world. Some call this networking; I call it community.
- Do not join a club to become popular, brag and just attend parties. Join organizations that provide you a platform for growth and experience. Become a part of something you enjoy and find productive. When applying for scholarships, these clubs will play a vital role in your success.
- Quit your job. Instead of working, excel academically so you can benefit from scholarships and internships that provide you with the resources you need to attain your goals.
- Surround yourself with winners. Avoid people who are negative, discouraging and seeking something other than success in their lives. Find those who will reach down to raise you up with them and who will walk with you on your journey.
- Never say "I can't." Trust yourself, your abilities and your dreams. Remove doubt and insecurities from your mind and from your heart. Never allow yourself to dwell in your past mistakes and always look to the future with hope. Believe that all is possible; repeat it to yourself everyday even in your darkest hours.
- Have fun. Learning involves gathering information, participating with other people and exploring possibilities and opportunities. Enjoy the moment; enjoy the heartaches too, for all your experiences are just that...experiences you add to your repertoire. Learning does not have to be arduous and painful if you chose to see knowledge as a gift.
- Never be afraid to seek your professor. Some professors will know your name, and some will even like you if you have followed my previously mentioned tips. These private meetings may end up more productive and pleasant than you think.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Not Your Ordinary College Survival Tips
This is a list of college survival tips I wish my professors would have provided me while I was in college. They did not and therefore, I suffered greatly. I hope my raw truthfulness serves to alleviate some of the unnecessary suffering associated with attending college. You do not have to suffer because those who went before you suffered.