Habits for Semester Long Success

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With the fall semester underway, students — especially freshmen — are beginning to ask themselves what it takes to be successful in college. Many struggle with their transition to college, and are trying to gather as much advice on succeeding as they can before the semester ends. Check out these tips on succeeding academically, financially and personally.


Go to class. One of the best things you can do for yourself is attend all of your classes. Going to class is a great way to learn course material and ask questions about content you do not understand. Another great benefit of going to class is that you are able to establish connections with classmates.

Write down important dates in a planner. Write details regarding important dates like tests, quizzes and exams on a calendar that you check regularly. Doing this will ensure that you set aside enough time to prepare for exams and that you organize your work, homework and social schedules accordingly.

Attend office hours. Going to office hours is not only helpful in ensuring your success in a class, but it is also a great way to cultivate relationships with professors. These relationships will come in handy when it is time to request a letter of recommendation.


Get a job on campus. Studies have shown that students who work have higher grade point averages than those who don’t. Apart from the academic benefits of working, having a job will allow you to save money for life after graduation.

Start a Roth IRA. One of the best things you can do is start preparing for retirement. A Roth IRA is a retirement savings plan that allows an individual to set aside money up to a certain amount each year. The money in these accounts will be locked until a certain age or until certain conditions are met, like the purchase of a new home. It may seem a bit early, but the sooner you start the better; the more time you have to collect compound interest on your savings. Starting a Roth IRA is easier than you think, and it can have tremendous effects on your future. You can go to your local credit union or bank to set up your Roth account.

Start an emergency fund. Saving up a little bit of money for emergencies is a great way to prepare for any of life’s unexpected challenges, like a broken cell phone or a flat tire. Many financial experts recommend college students save approximately $500 in an emergency fund and that they keep their credit card debt as low as possible.


Get involved. One of the best things you can do is join one or more groups on campus. This will allow you to meet like-minded people who share similar interests.

Workout. Working out is one of the best things you can do to manage stress. Not only is working out a good way of managing the demands of school and work, it is a great habit to develop during your college years.

Set goals. It is easy to lose focus during the school year, but if you set goals early on and review them frequently throughout the semester, you are more likely to make
them happen.


Ashley Lyles is a senior professional writing major from Southfield, Mich. She is pre-med and hopes to someday pursue a career in science writing. When she isn’t studying for classes, she is reading fashion blogs and perusing articles on the latest advances in healthcare.


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