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How to Succeed in College

How to Succeed in College

How to Succeed in College

We asked recent SWU graduates what they wish they had known their first year, and these are the top things they said.

by Davis Hendricks on August 14, 2019

These tips were written by recent SWU grads. Trust them! As you read this blog post, think about what feels like the biggest challenge with your classes this semester.

Actually Use Your Syllabus                                      

Looking at the syllabus can be a little overwhelming as ALL of your assignments for a class are on there.  BUT THAT IS A GOOD THING! Use it to see what you have to do between now and the end of the class and PLAN AHEAD!  If you have a question about the class, look at the syllabus! It’s usually in there.

Don’t underestimate the power of a calendar!

At some point it becomes nearly impossible to remember all of the due dates, tests, group meetings, dorm meetings, and student activities that you want to make it to.  Literally, write down EVERYTHING! You’ll thank yourself later!

Start strong, Finish stronger

Life is so much easier if you start the semester off strong academically.  It’s harder to focus at the end of the semester anyway, and a rough start really puts you under a lot of pressure.  If you don’t get something, ask your classmates/friends, go to tutoring, or got to your instructor's office hours.  Professors actually WANT you to understand what is going on in class and are willing to explain things again or help you find the resources that you need.

Your friends can change, and that is okay!

A lot happens in four years of college, and the person who walks across the stage is not the same person who shows up for the first week of classes freshman year.  As you grow and learn more about yourself, you will learn what group of friends you want to invest in.  Meaningful and genuine friendships are so valuable and worth the investment!


College is hard, and you spend a lot of time studying, and that is OKAY, but don’t forget to have fun!  These four years of your life will go by so fast, and once you blink, you will be walking across the stage at graduation, so take a break and enjoy the fun things going on around you.  It’s okay to take a break from studying and go get ice cream with your roommates.  It’s okay to go to student activities; they are actually really fun!

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.  You can steer yourself anyway you choose.” 

- Dr. Seuss

Tags: college, success, time management, freshman