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Succeeding in College

Going to school is different from going to work or other situations you've been a part of recently.

When you start college, expect to feel awkward or confused for a short while. Ask a question when you don't know what is expected of you.

Most college campuses have advisors or programs to help students adjust to college. Find out what type of support the school has for adult students or for ex-offenders.

Exercise Your Brain

You would not enter a sports event without training first, right? Before you enroll in college, it's a good idea to start using your brain in ways that will help you be a better student.

Read. It doesn't matter if you are reading a magazine, websites, comic books, or literature. Reading increases your brainpower. Reading any type of material increases your vocabulary and grammar skills. Improving your reading will give you a big boost in college and at work.

Write. Writing is a way to express yourself: your ideas, opinions, and knowledge. And you may do a lot of it in college and on the job. Get started by writing a little in a journal every day.

Do the math. More careers today expect employees to have basic math skills. Even if you struggle with math, stay with it. Math skills open doors to good jobs in computers, engineering, and business. And it helps your mind get organized. Ask for help and study with friends if you are having problems understanding a concept.

Tips for Succeeding in School

  • Take notes in class. Try to pick out the main ideas, but don't write down everything your instructor says. Copy any formulas and examples given in class.
  • Listen and ask questions. If you have a question, chances are your classmates do, too. Do not interrupt your instructor. Raise your hand or wait until your instructor pauses to ask your questions.
  • Do your homework and be prepared for each class. Review what was discussed in previous classes.
  • Have a special area at home for studying where you won't be distracted.
  • Study in small "chunks" of time and take regular breaks. Don't expect to learn everything for a test or complete an assignment in one sitting.
  • Study with a friend or group and share information.

Next Steps:

Source: Adapted from the Minnesota Office of Higher Education.