Back to College- 10 Tips to be Successful in College

Hello everyone, today I have my sixth post in my Back to College series. This is a post about how to be successful in college. If you read yesterday’s post, you know that I was not entirely successful during my freshman year. However, I wanted to share some tips on how to be as successful as possible.

So let’s get into it.

1.) Get ahead of everything you can. 

At the beginning of the semester, most professors will provide you with an outline of all of the dates you need to be aware of. As soon as you get this, take out your planner and WRITE THEM DOWN!

This also goes for your clubs and organizations. When you get word of a date, write that shit down. This way you are well prepared for what is to come.

2.) Take notes. Always. 

Of course, it is important to go to class in the first place, but it is more important that you make the most out of going to class. Take notes on what the professor talks about. You never know if something little that they said will show up on the midterm or the final.

Handwritten notes are shown to help you remember things better than computerized notes.

3.) Take care of yourself. 

As many of you have read about in my previous posts, you know that I did not do this very well last year. That being said, it is important. Drink your water, eat your veggies, do some exercise, and get your sleep. It’s not hard but it is super important.

4.) Go to your SI sessions. 

At many schools, SI’s (Student Instructors) will host review sessions during the week. During these sessions, they will talk about what went down in the week and will answer any further questions you have. These are incredibly helpful if you are a bit confused with a particular subject.

5.) Ask questions. 

Even if you don’t go to the SI sessions, it’s important to ask any questions that you have in some way. Ask your professor during class, ask your SI through email or during a session, or ask a friend in the class. This way you will expand your knowledge on the subject and will work to ensure that you fully understand everything before the midterm comes along.

6.) Take classes that interest you. 

Of course, you can’t always avoid taking certain classes like math, history, English, etc. However, for the classes, you do get to choose, pick ones that actually interest you. If you are interested in the subject, you are WAY more likely to actually go to class and retain the information.

For the classes you can’t pick, like GEs, try and find the purpose of taking the class and see it as a benefit rather than a hassle.

7.) Read your professors’ rating page. 

RateMyProfessor is probably one of the best places to get advice about your professors. If you are unfamiliar with the site, this is a place where previous students can talk about their experience with the professor, whether or not you need the textbook and any advice that they have.

By reading this, you will know how the professor teaches, what the tests look like and what their expectations are.

8.) Take advantage of the resources on campus. 

Again, this isn’t something I did very well but I certainly had the chance to see their benefit. On Chapman’s campus, there are TONS of student resources that are available.

Here are the ones that I used:

  • Psychological Health Center- this is an incredibly important resource on college campuses. I loved being able to go in there to talk about what was going on in my life. It really helped me de-stress and work through some of my anxiety.
  • Student Health Center- this is one of the most used resources on my campus. There are a few doctors and nurses that are able to prescribe medication and diagnose illnesses. This really helped when I broke out into hives during recruitment (lol @me).
  • Career Center- Chapman has a student and alumni version of LinkedIn called HandShake. This helps students find jobs during and after college. The Career Center also helps with resumes, letters of recommendation and interview skills.

There are tons of other resources that I highly recommend using, but these are the only ones I have personal experience with.

9.) Set goals. 

I am the type of person that loves to work ahead. By setting goals, you allow yourself to have something to always be working for. This being said, it is important to set reasonable goals that are achievable for you. Set these goals based on things that are actually important (not like “I want to go to every frat party”).

Here are some ideas:

  • To go to 2 office hours a week.
  • To get a GPA of a 3.5 or higher.
  • To go to use some resources each week.
  • Join a club.
  • Be more involved in a club you’re already in.

10.) Try to create a routine. 

While you’re in college, you will most likely find yourself being incredibly busy. This is great but it can force you to lose track of time and forget to get something done. In order to prevent this, it’s important to set a routine for yourself to live by.

Here was my typical routine:

7:00- wake up, get breakfast, do makeup, and get ready.

7:45- meet Hayley and Taylor in lobby and walk to class

8:00- Spanish

9:00- go to Starbucks, get tea, organize day, work on any homework/ projects

10:00- Philosophy

11:00- go to student lounge and work on homework/ projects

12:00- Business Communications

1:00- get lunch/ work on homework

6:00- dinner

7:00- shower

7:30- do homework and prepare for the next day

9:00- stretch and get into bed

10:00- go to bed

Now to be real with y’all, there was not a single day that I could keep this exact schedule but by having something to live by, it helped me stay organized.

That concludes my sixth post in my Back to College series. I hope this helps inspire you with ways to stay successful.

What are your tips to stay successful? Share them in the comments below to spread the success. I will see you tomorrow with another post!

Lots of love,


Instagram: elllie.belllie

Twitter: elliescrazylife

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Email: elliekarayan


*Disclaimer: some of the links above are affiliate links that will benefit me in some way. If you have any questions about this, please feel free to ask down below.

Have a burning college question? Ask it in the comments below or on any of my social media accounts. You may even see it become a post!


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