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Student Success Center: Tips for Success

Tips for Getting Off to a Great Start

  1. Connect- Join a study group. Attend college success skills seminars!
  2. Organize- Buy a weekly planner and journal to organize important dates of assignments, exams, holidays, and family events. This will help you see the “big picture” and plan ahead.
  3. Prioritize- Build your schedule according to what needs to get done first. Put “first things first” and work toward papers and projects ahead of time.
  4. Balance- Instead of cramming all of your study time into one night or weekend, considering spreading that time out over a few weeks so that all that unnecessary panic and stress can be avoided.
  5. Evaluate- Take stock of your progress within the next few weeks. If you find yourself overwhelmed, take a few minutes to connect with a SSC staff member for support.

Tips for Success in College

  1. Build Your Skills- It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that what you know matters when it comes to succeeding in college. But did you know that it takes much more than just “knowing” your algebra, chemistry, and grammar skills to succeed? Success in college requires knowledge about how to read hundreds of pages of text and still remember what you read, how to study under pressure, and how to take notes in a way that makes sense to you.
  2. Stay Motivated- Even the most talented and intellectual students can fall behind in their grades if they lose their sense of motivation and momentum. Success in college depends on your ability to endure under pressure.
  3. Manage Your Time and Stress- Students who learn how to de-stress and get the most out of their time are more likely to succeed not just in college, but also in their relationships and in the world of work. It takes knowledge, high motivation, and good self-management to endure the challenges ahead, so stay balanced and remember these tips for success in college!

Tips for Balancing Study and Social Life

  1. Get Organized- Write all important deadlines and social events in a planner for a clear picture of what you need to accomplish in a semester.
  2. Start early- Take important projects, papers, and exams and begin working on them early.
  3. Study Smart- Choose a study place that’s free of distractions, and use it daily. Take big projects and papers and break them down into smaller tasks. This will lighten your load and free up more time with friends and family.
  4. Communicate- Let your friends and family know what your goals and expectations are and ask for their support. When friends ask you to skip class or studying for an exam, remind them of your goals.
  5. Reward Yourself- When you’ve accomplished a goal or completed a project, enjoy a coffee break or a few hours at the beach. Success in college requires hard work, but also a commitment to balance. Remember the reward, and you will find success both in your college career and beyond.

Tips for Taking Notes

  1. Come Prepared- Read all assigned texts the night before. Highlight important words, phrases, and headings.
  2. Bring a tape-recorder to class. Tape your lectures and review them after class. (Be sure to ask your professor before class for permission to tape during class.)
  3. Use an outline or concept map- Based on your learning style, take notes that reflect how you receive and process information.
  4. Ask questions- Don’t just record words mindlessly. Ask for clarification and write notes that make sense and also reflect what the professor is saying.
  5. Rewrite- Whether you prefer to type your notes or you rewrite them using colored pens, always revisit your notes after class and reformat them in a clear and concise way.

Tips for Time Management

  1. Survey Your Time- Take a typical week’s activities and identify how much time you spend attending class, studying, working, sleeping, and spending time with friends and family.
  2. Prioritize- By looking at your time survey and your assignments and deadlines, do “first things first” and let unnecessary tasks take second place.
  3. Create study times during each day- Whether you study better in the morning or after dinner, find a consistent block of time each day to study and prepare. Assign specific tasks during that time so you don’t become overwhelmed with too many tasks all at once.
  4. Combine activities- Remember that traffic jam that kept you waiting for minutes on end with nothing to do? Bring flashcards or notes from class and work on small tasks during those unavoidable breaks.
  5. Learn to say no- When unexpected social events or extracurricular commitments come up that take away from your ability to manage your time effectively, politely say no. Learning to protect and guard your time will help you not only succeed in college but also better enjoy the time you share with family and friends.

Tips for Selecting a Major

  1. Evaluate- Look at your interests, talents, abilities, and what your challenges are. This will help steer your toward a career that best suits you.
  2. Connect- Talk with your advisor about possible career options. Visit the Student Success Center for a career consultation, and find out how your unique personality impacts your career path.
  3. Research- Surf the net for career development information and new opportunities in your field of interest. Browse through the undergraduate bulletin for majors that interest you.
  4. Experiment- Take an introductory course in a major you’re interested in. Find a part-time job in a field you’re interested or volunteer as a way to gain experience that will help you make your decision about a major. Finding a major that’s right for you may not be easy or quick, but it can be one of the most exciting adventures you take toward a successful and enjoyable career.

Tips for Managing Your Money

  1. Evaluate- Take a look at how you’ve spent your money within the last few weeks. Chart out your bills, unavoidable expenses, and your spending habits. Do you have enough “extra” money left over to support your spending habits?
  2. Plan Ahead- Christmas and birthday expenses only come up a few times a year, yet good money management includes spending your money with caution, just in case the car needs new tires.
  3. Save- Whether you save $10 a month or $100 a month, building a savings account can help you avoid going broke when life throws you an unexpected expense.
  4. Limit unnecessary spending- Even though a latte here and there seems like small change, it adds up. If you like a latte every day, try to buy coffee from the grocery store and make it at home. This will help avoid a money crisis brought on by nickel-and-dime spending.
  5. Reward Yourself- In order to prevent a buying spree after weeks of “doing good” with your money, build into your budget a small reward. Save your fast food money for a couple of weeks and buy something that will last, like a CD or a piece of clothing.
  6. STAY AWAY FROM CREDIT CARDS! “Buy now, pay later” means much more than you think. What seems like a good purchase to you now may not look as important when the credit card bill begins to accumulate interest. If you do use a credit card, pay off the bill each month. Remember, while money doesn’t grow on trees, creditors do. Stay committed to your budget, and you’ll find small, gratifying ways to reward yourself without breaking the bank.

The University of Mobile Student Success Center exists to serve the UMobile student community through support and guidance in the areas of individual and relationship counseling, career exploration, new student orientation, and academic and interpersonal skillbuilding.

The staff of the SSC desires to connect students and parents with resources that will encourage academic, personal, and spiritual growth – not just through college, but for a lifetime.