According to research, this is what makes a college student successful:
1. Strong time-management skills
Having a solid time-management plan can help you stay on top of your workload without feeling overwhelmed. “Time management will grant you the ability to get as many assignments finished as possible with the least amount of stress,” Martinez says. Remember that study sessions don’t have to last all day (or night) to be effective!
“Use any little amount of free time you have to chip away at assignments, even if it’s only 20 minutes,” Martinez advises.
While you might not be able to write an entire paper in 30 minutes, you can take concrete steps that will make the longer study and writing sessions go smoother. Organize your thoughts, make an outline, review vocabulary terms—these little things add up.
2. Organization skills
Staying organized is another key ingredient to balancing your responsibilities and finding success as a college student. That doesn’t mean you have to have an immaculately color-coded organization system—taking some basic organizational steps can go a long way.
Keeping close tabs on due dates for homework can help you plan a schedule each week to make sure nothing falls through the cracks. Having a planner dedicated to schoolwork can also help you plan ahead so you have enough time to study for tests or complete larger projects.
3. The ability to work with others
Collaborating with classmates is an important part of college life, one that prepares you for the realities of the workplace. Martinez admits that working in groups isn’t always easy, but brushing up on your collaboration skills can make the process go more smoothly. “Figure out ways to effectively work against adversity and get the job done.”
4. Friends to support you
Making friends within your degree program means you’ll always have support and accountability, whether it’s studying for tests or swapping stories about the highs and lows of college life. You’ll always have someone to rely on for help when needed, and it makes coursework more enjoyable when you have someone to relate to. “Plus who knows? You might end up finding someone that’ll be a friend for life.”
5. Curiosity to learn more
Gaining new knowledge and skills is at the heart of your college experience. You’ll gain more from your time in school if you come with an open sense of curiosity and a desire to learn as much as possible. Try new things and ask questions whenever you can. During your college experience, do as much as possible to learn and step outside of your comfort zone.
6. A positive mindset
It’s natural to feel a bit nervous before starting school, but giving too much focus on those negative thoughts can actually prevent you from reaching your potential. Negative thought patterns have been linked to increased stress, as well as anxiety, and other mental health problems. Reframing your worries and embracing a more positive mindset can increase your resilience and help you bring your best effort to your education.
7. Confidence in yourself
Some advice I’d offer to new college students feeling nervous about their role is to simply believe in yourself. You don’t have to be perfect to have a successful college experience. You can persevere with determination and the confidence that you have what it takes to earn your degree. You deserve to be here, and you need to convince yourself of that.