Whether you’re just starting out on your college journey or nearing the end of your degree, you should know that you don’t have to do it alone! There are loads of resources available to ensure your success. Here are just a few:
On-campus Resources to Help You Be Successful in College
1) If you have a paper or essay deadline approaching, check to see if your campus has a Writing Center. Student workers or staff at the Writing Center will usually read through your paper and offer constructive feedback. This is virtually guaranteed to help improve your grade. As an added bonus, making an appointment at the Writing Center might encourage you to get a jump on your paper early on rather than procrastinating until the last minute!
2) Are you feeling jitters over your upcoming class presentation? Your campus may have a Speech and Presentation Center that will help you brush up on your public speaking skills. Again, this will likely improve your grade. And the practice will almost certainly reduce your nervousness!
3) If you feel your grades start to slip, get help. Many campuses have a Tutoring Center staffed with student tutors who have excelled in the very classes you are struggling with. The tutors typically go through training to learn exactly how to help students needing a little boost.
4) When you find yourself struggling, talk to your academic advisor or the professor of your class. That’s what office hours are for! These people are experts and are well-equipped to help you.
5) Make use of teaching assistants. Typically they are knowledgeable and eager to help!
6) Do you have a learning disability that presents additional challenges for you? Be sure to get in touch with your campus’s Disability Support Office as soon as possible. You may be eligible for accommodations like extra time on exams, taking notes in class, or recordings of class lectures.
7) Get to the LIBRARY! Librarians are inexhaustible fonts of knowledge. They can help you find resources for your research paper, get ahold of difficult-to-find materials, connect you with study aids like practice tests and flashcards, and much more.
8) Seek out your college’s Career Center. Many students only think about the Career Center as they near graduation, but this resource can be helpful long before then! Career Center advisors may be able to connect you with internships during the semester or over the summer, or they may be able to recommend opportunities or training relevant to your chosen field.
9) Participate in campus activities like movie nights and free concerts. Taking time away from your schoolwork is important for your wellbeing, and getting involved on campus will help you meet new people. If you dislike the campus activities that are currently offered, consider getting involved! Many schools have student activity committees who help to come up with the events!
10) Remember to take care of your mental health. You will be a more focused and successful student if you’re taking care of yourself. Many colleges offer reduced cost or even free counseling through counseling centers or student health facilities.
11) Your physical health is important too! Most college campuses have gym facilities that students can use for free. You might find that you focus on writing your English paper better after your run off some energy on the treadmill!
Making use of all of these resources will do wonders for your grades and your stress level! And if you find yourself in a position where you want to ask your professor for an extension or some extra credit, that request will probably be more warmly received if you can say something like, “I am giving this class my best effort. I visited the Tutoring Center before our exam and had my paper reviewed by the Writing Center before turning it in.”
As an added bonus, check to see if any of these above resources might be hiring! Even if you’re having a hard time with math, you might make a great history tutor. You could earn a little extra money (what college student doesn’t need that?!) while honing your writing or tutoring skills AND beefing up your resume. Everyone wins! Some of these side gigs require only minimal time commitments. For example, I was once in a statistics class with a student who had a learning disability. The Disability Support Office hired me to share my notes with the student. It required almost no additional time commitment for me – just an email to the student after every class. In exchange, I was motivated to have good attendance and take clear notes, and I was compensated with $500 in bookstore vouchers – enough to cover my textbooks for the semester!
Additional Resources that Help You Be Successful in College
Campus resources are great, but it’s also a good idea to look beyond campus for ways to support your college career.
1) If you find face-to-face tutoring intimidating, or if it’s challenging to fit a tutoring appointment into your busy schedule, you could try out online tutoring, which tends to be a little more flexible.
2) Self-help books might sound hokey if you’ve never tried them, but they can be a great aid if you’re looking to improve a certain area of your life. Having trouble with time management? Read Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time! Grappling with imposter syndrome? Check out You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life! Struggling with your finances? Try Money Honey: A Simple 7-Step Guide For Getting Your Financial $hit Together! Other problems? Ask a librarian for a recommendation!
3) Watch YouTube videos to review content before big exams. For example, the Crash Course channel has tons of videos on lots of different topics (psychology, biology, US history, etc.). The videos are well-done, entertaining, and accurate. They’re often used by professors in college courses. Reviewing the subject matter in a different, engaging format can be really helpful!
4) Want to impress your professor? Follow some podcasts relevant to the courses you’re taking. For example, you could tune in to Planet Money if you’re taking Economics, or Naked Astronomy if you’re enrolled in Astronomy, The Studentpreneur Show if you’re studying entrepreneurship or business, or The Psychology Podcast for a psych class. Good podcasts are typically well-made and entertaining, and they’re easy to listen to on the go. Chiming in with some fun facts you learned from a podcast will impress your professor, and it might even empower you to engage in class discussions when you haven’t quite gotten around to doing the assigned reading. In addition, podcasts are often made by industry professionals so they may give you some insights into whether you would actually enjoy working in that field.
5) Find support in online communities. College can be challenging, and it can help to know that others are going through the same things as you. The great thing about online communities (e.g. Twitter, Reddit, Facebook) is that you can find groups of people who are in the same circumstances that you’re in – e.g. single moms going to college, or college students applying to medical school, or first-generation college students. Find your people!
6) Don’t forget to lean on your friends and family when you need support!
College is a great time to find your niche and work on all the skills that will allow you to excel in your chosen career. Just remember that you have so many resources available to you, wherever your college journey takes you!