5 Ways to Get Ahead This Fall Semester

Since reshaping my job at the University of Kentucky College of Education to a specific focus on retention, I have been able to interact and build great relationships with students.  It’s interesting that all it takes is a 2-minute hallway conversation to develop a friendship.

As students begin to excitedly anticipate the beginning of another school year, the academic side of life must remain at the forefront of each individual.  A bad start to the semester (especially for freshmen) can lead to a downward spiral quickly.  Here are 5 ways to ensure that you are getting ahead this Fall:

  1. Find a mentor – Find someone who has been there before to help advise you through the hard times.  If you’re new or have never had a mentor, ask a professor or staff member around campus that you are drawn to.
  2. Know your syllabus – Keep this in the front of every notebook, reference it often, and mark any changes the professor makes.  Some have even taken a picture on their phone so that it is always there.
  3. Have fun – Volunteer or get involved in a student group.  The more involvement, the happier you will be.
  4. Learn to take notes – Whether it’s a personal style or someone teaching you their ways, taking notes is an important piece of success.
  5. Work hard – Go a little beyond what is required.  Playing catch-up later results in lower grades, less sleep, and more stress.

So there it is.  Work on these 5 strategies and your Fall semester will get off on the right foot.

What other tips do you have?