College test of your willpower and you’ll constantly encounter issues, obstacles, and situations that can make life seem unmanageable at times. Stay strong and follow these 12 tips below to help you stay focused and successful in these crucial years:

  1. File backups: Google Drive is your friend and will keep your files backed up and safe (use their sync/backup tool). With the 15gb storage you get for free, you should be all set.
  2. I’d highly recommend studying outside of your room when you can. This will help you stay alert and on your toes rather than falling victim to the comfort and familiarity of your room.
  3. To start building your credit early on, look for a card with the lowest interest rate you can from a reputable institution and make your monthly purchases with the card up to 20% of your balance and even more importantly: PAY IT OFF EVERY MONTH!
  4. Get involved on campus: Start or join a club, participate in student government, become a tutor, attend on-campus events or join a frat/sorority. Along the way, you’ll make new friends and begin building a professional network that will last a lifetime.
  5. Communication will obviously be a key factor not only in college but in your professional life as well. Consider taking a speech class if you have the time to hone those skills that you’ll always carry with you. The benefits are lasting and just about endless.
  6. Talk to your professors and get to know them a bit. Ask for tips and advice when you can during their office hours. If a problem or issue arises, communicate and they can help guide you in the right direction.
  7. Go to class. Obviously.
  8. Take notes on paper. It’s not a myth, you do in fact learn better and absorb information more efficiently if you take handwritten notes on paper vs. on your laptop. There are many studies you can find out there like this one that reinforces this fact.
  9. Get help when you need to when a problem arises. College will be filled with obstacles that come your way. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a friend, counselor or one of your professors. 
  10. You’ll make many lifelong choices during your college years, so be sure to think them through in the long-term. Can you see yourself working in your chosen industry 10-20 years from now? How do you expect this industry to evolve over time? Be honest with yourself about what you’re good at and what you enjoy doing. Ask yourself how your chosen path will make you feel later down the road.
  11. If possible, find a part-time job that relates to your studies and your chosen path ahead. This way, you’ll be learning valuable lessons along the way that will travel with you in the years ahead.
  12. Stay organized! Alerts, calendars, alarms oh my! Establish a strict routine of staying organized from the start and maintain. It will help eliminate stress before it begins and ensure that you don’t get overwhelmed at points, not to mention that by nailing down this skillset now rather than later, you’ll be able to carry this into your professional career development and benefit greatly.

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