What it Really Takes to be a Successful College Student

studentatdeskAre you thinking about enrolling in college? Have you recently enrolled? You may already have an idea of what it takes to be a successful college student, such as creating good study habits, developing test-taking strategies, and perfecting your time management and computer skills. However, there are five other important ways to become a successful college student, and we’ve let you in on the secrets below.

Every successful college student should have:

1.  Drive and motivation

You must be driven and motivated to achieve your goal when you enroll in college. You have to really want to earn your degree and be prepared to do anything it takes to reach your educational goals. College is not going to be easy; if it was easy, everyone would be walking around with a college degree. The best things in life are the things you have to work hard for and achieve on your own. 

2.  Persistence

You must be able to keep going in the face of adversity. This can be a challenging assignment; there are many things that can go wrong while you’re enrolled in school, such as the loss of a loved one and the inability to access the Internet from home. You must persist and keep striving for success in your courses—do not let an obstacle become a wall.

It is important to connect with your student advisor whenever an issue arises that you need help working through; they are there for you and will help you develop a roadmap to your graduation, help you evenly balance your coursework, as well as anything else that could come up. There is nothing like the feeling of crossing the stage on graduation day after you have worked hard to obtain your degree—do not give up before you get a chance to know what this feeling is like.

3. Positive thinking skills

It is really easy to slip into a pattern of negative thoughts, like the test was too hard, there is too much reading or there is no way to get everything done. You must change from negative thinking to positive, solution-oriented thinking. Instead of thinking you are going to fail the test, think about how the test is going to be challenging and think of ways to prepare.

All Rasmussen College campuses—including Online—offer tutoring seven days a week, which is one option if you would like a little extra help in a course. Tutoring is a great way for you to stay positive about your coursework. It is important to remind yourself that you can do it. You will be amazed at everything you can accomplish with positivity on your side.

4.  Support

When you enroll in college, you need to find and rely on your support system; this can be your family, friends or fellow classmates. Rasmussen College prides itself on SUPPORT+—the college’s guarantee to go above and beyond in providing the support you need to succeed.  

Know who your support system is at school—know your advisors names, your librarian, your learning center coordinator, your deans and everyone else on campus who is there for you. Know what resources you can access before you need them, and ask questions. This will help alleviate the stress you feel when you really do need some assistance and support. Remember: you are not in this alone.

5. Organization skills

In order to be successful in college, you must become organized. This can mean many different things: scheduling your time, creating an assignment calendar, utilizing to-do lists, using binders with tabs or creating folders on the computer for each class. Being organized can help alleviate the stress that you feel; when you know where to go to access everything and have a plan in place, you will feel more relaxed.

Also, try meeting or speaking with a Learning Center Coordinator if you need a little extra push getting organized. Organization will ensure you are on-task and completing all assignments on-time—this is a crucial skill you will utilize in school and in the workplace.

The bottom line

There is no other feeling in the world like accomplishing a goal. The road to success might not be a straight line, but with drive, persistence, positive thinking, support and organization on your side, you can achieve anything. Make sure to utilize all of your resources at Rasmussen College, whether it's tutoring, meeting with your student advisor or seeking advice from your learning center coordinator. Each staff member on campus and online are here to make sure you reach your end goal. 

External links provided on Rasmussen.edu are for reference only. Rasmussen College does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced.

Kristine Urban, M.Ed., is the Learning Center Coordinator at the Ocala, Fla campus. She has worked in the field of education for over three years. Kristine Urban also has her bachelor's in psychology from the University of Florida. She is nationally certified by the National College Learning Center Association and has been published in their national newsletter.

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