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How to Succeed in College Without Really Trying

We all know the basic keys to surviving college: caffeine, making time for yourself, meeting with your advisors… etc. But we’re not just surviving this semester – we’re thriving. Whether you’re a freshman or a senior, here are some tips anyone can use to succeed in college. I’m speaking it into existence right now, this is going to be the semester we get all A’s and nothing less.

1. Check Rate My Professors again

You most likely checked the site in the spring when you were choosing classes to see if the professor was a good fit for you and your learning style. You’ve probably forgotten all the minute details and tips from students about how many notes you should take or how anal the prof is about being on time. Check again while classes are just starting so you’re prepared for what’s expected of you.


Going to class is literally the easiest part of class. Even if you don’t do half of the assigned work, at least show up and get that attendance grade. If it’s a problem of not wanting to get up for an early class, the best life hack is to set your alarm every night and put your phone somewhere far from your bed. This forces you to physically get up to turn it off, making it easier to get moving and avoid the temptation of hitting the snooze button.

3. Become best friends with your professors

This is especially relevant to juniors and seniors once you’re out of the gen. ed. classes and signed up for classes in your major. You’ve probably had the same professors for multiple classes. You may even have the same one for more than a single class in the same semester. Whether you like them or not, get familiar with them. They’re the ones who will write you your recommendation letters or give you job connections, plus they probably have great stories to tell.

4. Procrastinate (sometimes)

Believe it or not, procrastination really can be key. Obviously you shouldn’t wait until the morning a paper is due to start it, but sometimes waiting until the night before to start your chapter readings or even to do the majority of your studying for an exam is the best time to do it. It’s fresh in your brain and often the pressure of a close deadline helps you work harder.

*Tread lightly with this tip.

5. Make friends in your classes

We all hate those dumb icebreakers on the first day because we think we’re not here to make friends, we’re here to learn. But in the job world, it’s not what you know, but who you know. Networking with people in your classes is what may get you your first internship or job.

6.  Really use your planner, like, right away

Usually in the syllabus, professors will outline their due dates, especially the major assignments. Pop those into your agenda immediately so you’re way ahead of yourself. It will help you stay organized, and not to be dramatic but organization is literally the key to success.

7. Jump at any volunteer opportunities

If your professors are running some kind of event where they need volunteers, DO IT. First of all, this is going to make you look great to the professor and they might even give you extra credit. Second, this is often another way of networking. You might meet people who work in the career field you want to be in and any type of experience is good experience when it comes to volunteering.

The only person who controls your success is you, Collegiettes!. Use that big ~boss girl~ energy and make this semester the best one yet!

Molly Feser

George Mason University '18

Molly is a Communication major with a concentration in Journalism at George Mason University. She loves Broadway, iced coffee, and The Office. She is also a sister of Alpha Xi Delta on campus. After she graduates she hopes to be an entertainment journalist.
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