Politics and Business

3 Keys to Success in College

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Your college years will be a lot of fun — but they’ll also be a lot of work and incredibly important to your future career and life. The great career and long-term success that you’re dreaming of begin with your college studies, so make sure that you’re getting the most out of your schooling and your degree.

Below, we’ll lay out three keys to success in college. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it will get you started on the right track towards academic success.

Choose the right school (and the right kind of school)

Success in college begins before your first day of classes. To get the most out of your college education, you need to make sure that you’re headed to the right school and the right environment.

The right school for you, say the experts at Excelsior College, needs to have a great reputation — not just in general academics, but in the specific areas that you’re most likely to major in. And don’t assume that brick-and-mortar schools are your only options. Modern online universities such as Excelsior College can be excellent choices, too.

In fact, depending on your situation, you may be better off at one type of school or another. Consider your career, budget, and schedule when deciding among brick-and-mortar universities, online schools, part-time programs, low-residency programs, and other options.

Know when to take a break (and when to take a vacation)

Schoolwork is real work. And, just like with real work, too much of it can mess up your mind.

Studies show that working too long without a break can make you much worse at learning and much less effective in your school or work performance. The key to making the most of your talents and passions isn’t to work nonstop — instead, it’s to work wisely and achieve work-life balance. This is just as true in college as it is in the professional world.

So carve out times and places where you won’t study. Be especially mindful of your bed, because you’ll get better sleep if you’re not used to working in your mattress.

And, if you can manage it, go on vacation. Heading down to Florida for spring break or taking a summer road trip can do wonders for your mental health — and your physical health, too, especially if you get some sun and exercise while you’re on your break. So sign up for paddle board rentals in Palm Beach or meet up with friends in Miami. You’ll be better off in the long run if you give yourself some breaks and splurge on the occasional vacation.

Actually talk to your professors

The professors who teach your classes aren’t robots. They’re human beings, and making a real human connection with them can be good for your academic performance.

Speaking with professors during office hours and outside of class will give you a chance to brush up on the parts of the material that give you the most trouble. These moments are also your chances to get to know the professor’s priorities and grading habits — if using the wrong font in an essay will cost you dearly, then you’ll want to know that! For better or for worse, knowing a professor’s pet peeves and priorities can make a huge difference in your grades.

Finally, actually connecting with your professors is a good way to signal to them that you care about their class (and about them, too!) — and it never hurts to let professors know that you respect them and the subject matter that they have dedicated their life to.

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