1. How to Be a Successful College Student
So you have decided that it is time for a change. You are tired of being constrained as an
"average" employee because you have no higher education under your belt. Luckily, you're not
alone. Do you have what it takes to be successful in this change? Here are nine crucial steps to
help adult learners like you fit college into your life.
1. Become self – aware: Know that
you are going to be making a huge
commitment and that it is time to
become self-aware of your current
situation. Determine what changes to
make and be brutally honest with
yourself. Remember that this is for your
self-growth; no one can ever take away
your education. Becoming self- aware
takes years for some to grasp so be
patient and remember that this is the
toughest step so it will take some
2. Establish your priorities:
Remember that not all of your daily
tasks are essential. Keep a daily to – do
list and determine which tasks can wait,
be delegated, or tossed altogether.
Removing any bottlenecks1 will allow
you to get the most out of your day.
3. Tell your support system: This
is where you re-evaluate your circle of
friends/influences. Be sure that you tell
your friend and employers to be
respectful of your new-found
commitment to your growth.
Remember that if they do not support
your growth, it is only apparent that
they do not care about you.
4. Create a structure that works
for you: This reflects back to becoming
self-aware. You know yourself the best
so determine what works well for you.
1 Bottleneck: a situation that causes a delay in a process orsystem.
2. If you work best at night, then schedule your assignments and study time at night. If you
work best in the mornings, then schedule your assignments and study time in the morning
with a nice "cup of joe". Remember that a structure requires a plan, just a like attending
your scheduled classes, treat this structure as if you were planning to attend class.
5. Find a co- founder: Once you begin your classes, you will meet new people with the
same goals as yourself. Find a connection with a classmate and become their study –
buddy. Study buddies are great for motivation, addressing diverse topics, generating new
ideas, and receiving constructive criticism.
6. Utilize all small bits of time: If you have 15 minutes in-between classes, you can easily
edit and review any lecture notes prior to an exam. If you have 30 minutes, you can easily
finish a math problem. Every minute counts and now that your time is limited, it is
imperative to make the most out of every minute in your day.
7. Build rewards into your schedule: Establish daily or weekly goals into your schedule and
make time to reward yourself when you conquer your goals. For example, if you studied
diligently the night prior to an exam and received a 90%, treat yourself out to your
favorite meal. Rewarding yourself will help you stay on track and will push you further to
accomplish more goals.
8. Take time for yourself: This is crucial. Stress is proven to deter you from functioning at
full capacity. Cortisol, the stress hormone, is released when you are feeling stressed and
may lead to premature brain aging over time. In fact, it is proven that cortisol damages
the hippocampus (the area responsible for episodic memory). With this being said,
without a proper routine and time management, you will end up sabotaging your success.
Take the time to give back to your body by exercising, meditating, catching up on your
rest, or doing a relaxing hobby. After all, you do come first.
9. Be consistent: This is a new habit that you will be creating. For this habit to stick to you
for the long-term, you must practice consistency. When you are consistent; your daily
tasks will flow effortlessly, you will naturally become organized, you will build trust
amongst your peers, and most importantly – you will always progress. Life is perpetual,
you can’t settle or you will be left behind.
Kelly Pyszkiewicz, MBA
Business Instructor at UEI College – Anaheim Campus
3. Works Cited
Future Formulations, L. (2015). Cortisol & Adrenal Function. Retrieved June 26, 2015, from
Glickman, A. (n.d.). Teaching and Learning - Stanford University. Retrieved June 2015, 26,
from The Center for Teaching and Learning: