7 Traits to Being A Successful College Student

7 Traits to Being A Successful College Student


No one ever said that being a college student was going to be easy.  In fact, being a college student is a very challenging and daunting task.  It is important to exhibit certain traits in order to maximize your years in college.  The following is a list of traits that will enable you to be position yourself onto a path of collegiate success.   

1. Time Management. This will be your life savor in college.  College students are notorious for their lack of sleep, up-all-night studying, and overall, subpar balance of time.  I am here to tell you that this does not have to be.  You can get enough sleep every night while still fulfilling everything that needs to be done.  It is called MANAGING YOUR TIME!  Don’t spend hours on Social Media or watching Netflix.  Get your work done first and then do the “fun stuff!”  I promise you, this actually does help.  One you can figure out how to complete all your work, have fun, and still get sleep, then you know you have made it.   

2. Determination.  There are two types of college students: those who make it and those who break it.  There is one common trait among the students who make it: determination.  Without the drive and motivation to gain the most knowledge out of college courses/do the best you can on assignments and exams, then you will definitely fall into that break-it crowd.  Set goals and let college be the time to figure out how you are going to achieve those goals.  Keep your eye on the prize!   

3. Focus.  Any college student can tell you how many distractions there are in one day.  There are so many other activities for you to do besides your school work that it is very easy to get off track.  Always remember to remain focused on what you came to college to do: gain an exemplary education to build a future, successful career.  Do not let the parties, sporting events, or any other type of distraction faze you.  Remember what you came to college to do and conquer it.   

4. Priorities.  If there is one piece of advice I can pass down to any student entering college, it is to set priorities.  Clearly, it is impractical to be studying 24/7.  You will drive yourself insane!  That does not go to say that the majority of your time should be spent studying and doing well on academics.  Either way, it is important to categorize your activities in order of importance.  Setting these priorities will allow you to stay organized and accomplish tasks in an efficient and effective manner that will leave you feeling proud, relieved, and ultimately, happy!   

5. Flexibility.  There are no two days in college that are the same.  Each day throws another challenge at you, a test to your determination and will power.  Because of the ever-changing nature of college, it is important to remain flexible.  Some days you will not have a lot of work and other days you will be completely bogged down with work.  It is important to be able to adjust to those different types of days while maintaining a healthy lifestyle balance.   

6. Communication.  It seems as if the mode of communication takes on different forms for different people.  Regardless of the form of communication, communicating with classmates, roommates, and professors is key to a successful college career.  Talk to your classmates and talk through struggles in classes.  Form study groups to maximize learning and preparation for exams.  Talk to your roommate.  Whether you are best friends with your roommate or complete strangers, talk through any problems and form a healthy relationship (because you’re stuck with them for the year…).  Most importantly, communicate with professors.  Do not just shoot them an email.  They appreciate when you go up and talk to them in person.  Take advantage of office hours and never be afraid to ask them questions or for assistance!   

7. Engagement. Finally, the best way to become a successful student in college is to become active and involved in the school and local community.  Academics comprise only so much of what college is about.  Get involved in clubs that support your majors/minors or just your interests in general.  Explore different career paths and have fun with whatever activities you partake in.   

Following these seven attributes is sure to lead you in the right direction of a successful college career.

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Change Starts With Letting Go Of What Doesn't Serve You

Why do we feel the need to stay bound to things that aren't bettering us?

I am someone who is not big on change. I like having a routine to my everyday life and I won't venture far from that. As a college student, this is rough because things are changing, truly, all the time. Your class schedule changes every semester. Your living arrangements change every year. Your friend group shifts according to what clubs and extracurriculars you're involved in. Everything around you is constantly evolving. Some people are all about the ever-changing lifestyle, and I envy those who are able to roll with the punches and enjoy the constant commotion that comes with adult-life.

I wish it was that easy for me.

Since graduating high school, I find myself constantly overwhelmed with the little challenges and annoyances that pop up, and then pile up. Sometimes it feels like it's one major problem after another, and that it's never going to stop. After many sob-filled phone calls with my mom, it's becoming clearer to me that the challenges and annoyances are never going to stop coming. Life is never going to get easier than it is. Be the kind of person who doesn't fear all that's coming, but sees the changes as an opportunity to grow as a person.

I'm beginning to realize that, essentially, everything is temporary. Our jobs, relationships, homes, and feelings are not going to be the same for the entire duration of our lives. So why spend so much time worrying about the inevitability of change? It's imperative to learn to embrace the constant flow of life and use it to your advantage. All of these experiences are molding you into the person you're supposed to be. It's so easy to hold onto things you've been close to for a long time, and it's extremely hard to say goodbye to them. Especially if you're someone who values routine and structure.

As I step into my big girl panties and claim the title of a "young adult," I'm coming to terms with the fact that people come and go, and things are bound to change. At some point, I think everyone needs to learn that it's okay to let go of things that no longer serve you. It's okay to walk away from situations that don't make you a better person. It's okay to let go of people who make you feel less than your worth. Why do we feel the need to stay bound to things that aren't bettering us?

Instead of packing your plate full of things that drag you down, free yourself. Find what gives you purpose and don't let any outer negative factors weigh in on what you make of yourself. Accept everything that comes towards you with open arms and never let certain things hold you back from whatever makes you happy.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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What I Wouldn't Wish On My Worst Enemy

Karma is a fundamental concept of Buddhism, but compassion and understanding are the fundamental concepts for a long and happy life.

I am a practicing Buddhist. Yes, I'm that annoying person whose house always smells like those stores in the mall that sell swords, hoodies that look hand-woven but probably aren't, and hemp jewelry. Why would a white American college student practice Buddhism? Simple: the teachings of the Buddha have helped me overcome some of the greatest struggles I've ever had to endure. Keeping those teachings in mind has aided me in my efforts to manage my PTSD, keep a level head when my job at a fast food place makes me want to tear my hair out, and most importantly, it has helped me forgive those who have wronged me.

There is a central concept of Buddhism that everyone is familiar with, and that is the concept of karma; good karma, bad karma, everyone has heard of it. At least in the Buddhist tradition that I practice, intentional decisions we make will impact our cycle of rebirth. I believe this to be true. However, I don't like karma. More specifically, I don't like bad karma. I believe it exists, just as good karma does, but I do not agree with it. My reasoning?

My high school bullies.

I was bullied all throughout my childhood and adolescence to the point where I was suicidal at times. Recent events, namely, the shooting in Parkland have made me think deeply about my high school experience. Once a school shooting occurs, fingers are pointed in all sorts of directions to try and find a reason why such a tragedy would occur. Gun control, mental illness, and bullying are all topics of debate. I am of the belief that it is ease of access to firearms that contributes the most to these tragedies, but that is not what this piece is about.

My mom never kept guns in the house. Ever. But if she had, would I have taken my revenge and shot the people who made my life a living hell?

No. I wouldn't have.

Chances are, the first and only person I would have used a firearm on would have been myself.

As much pain as I was in at the time, and as heavy as the weight of that pain is even today, I still would not wish harm to those who caused it to me. My mom always tells me, "Those people will get their just rewards. I promise." But I don't want that. What kind of person would I be if I wanted those people to suffer? I would be no better than they are.

If I got the chance to confront my bullies now, my first question to them wouldn't be, "So how was it, peaking in high school?" (as satisfying as that would be to ask). My first question would be one word: why?

Why did you think it was okay to say, "Go kill yourself." to someone? Why was I the one you thought deserved to be treated like shit? What did I ever do to make you hate me? Because no one says the kinds of things that you said to someone they don't hate with a passion?

To anyone who once knew me, who might be reading this and thinking it might be about them, chances are it probably is. So I want you to know something.

I don't hate you. I never did. I didn't hate you when I was angry, I didn't hate you when I was sad. I didn't hate you in any of the moments I probably could and should have. I don't want you to suffer. I don't want bad karma to come to you. It pains me to see that for some of you, it already has.

All I want for those who have intentionally hurt me in the past is to see that they have changed for the better. I want to know that they regret what they did because it was wrong, not because karma has come knocking. I have learned to be kind because I know how it feels to be the victim of someone else's cruelty. I want the same for the people who committed those acts of cruelty.

Cover Image Credit: Yogapedia

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