Welcome back to the 2023 edition of How to Succeed in College! In the previous parts, we’ve covered everything from developing a success mindset to how to manage your time and how to make sure you’re taking care of your physical and mental well-being. In this part, we’re talking about using your school’s resources to their full potential, AKA maximizing the ridiculous fees you’re paying.
As a college student, you have access to a ton of resources that can help you succeed. We’ve already talked about counseling and fitness resources, but there is so much more. From study groups and note-taking tips to social events and dorm resources, there are plenty of ways to get the most out of your college years. But sometimes it can be tough to know where to start, or even to know what’s available. That’s where this guide comes in.
So, what resources should you be looking for? It really depends on your learning style and what you need to help you succeed. Some people do better in study groups, while others prefer to work independently. Some students need help with note taking, while others need assistance with managing their time. No matter what your needs, there’s likely a resource available to help you. For example, you could reserve a room in the library for a study group, or sign up for a study carrel at the library where you can leave books and other items.
Speaking of the library, get ready to learn to love it. You might never have touched a book in your life, and you might get through all of college without cracking a physical book. But the library is so much more than books, and study spaces, and an online portal – doubtless designed badly – to access obscure journal articles.
These days, libraries love to brand themselves as information resource centers, and that’s definitely what you’ll find. Here’s just a list of some of the resources that are available to all students at one library at one school where I have taught:
- Workshops on specific software (in-person or digitally)!
- Online language learning lessons!
- Archives on specific subjects and topics!
- A small museum with rotating exhibits!
- Accessibility services to make sure everyone could access every library resource!
- Access to investment research databases like Morningstar!
- A writing center with one-0n-one help!
- Group study rooms for clubs and study groups!
- Outlets to charge your phone!
- Bathrooms with lots of toilet paper they did not even lock up!
As you can see, it’s not just books or places to make out behind shelves. Students who are willing to look into the services at the library know how to succeed in college because they know what they’re paying for and how to use it. But that’s not all.
It’s never too late to seek out help if you’re confused or to bounce ideas off someone else if you’re stuck. If you’re struggling in a class, don’t wait until the last minute to get help. Look for resources as soon as you start having trouble. This can save you a lot of stress in the long run. Many larger classes have TA’s or GA’s who run special sessions to walk students through tough homework problems or prep them for assignments.
Believe it or not, your TA’s want you to come to these office hours. Otherwise there’s no reason for them to have jobs, and also most of them want to learn how to teach. So don’t be shy about going.
Likewise, there’s no shame in finding a tutor if that will help you. Many colleges have free peer tutoring. Check and see if that’s an option for you.
Also, if the stress levels become intolerable, you can always reduce the workload by hiring an essay writing service .
Another resource to consider is your school’s career center. This is a great place to go if you’re not sure what you want to do after you graduate, or if you’re looking for internships or job opportunities. They can also help with resume building and mock interviews. If you build a good rapport with this office, you might even increase your odds of landing an interview or internship.
Another thing to consider is that you don’t have to use every resource available to you. If you’re not sure whether a particular resource is right for you, it’s okay to give it a try and then decide if it’s helpful or not. Some resources might not be a good fit for your learning style or interests, and that’s okay. There is nothing wrong, per se, with showing up at some random club with Tupperware in hand because you heard it had pizza, but it will probably not endear you to the club if you don’t otherwise participate.
The important thing is to keep an open mind and be willing to try new things.
Don’t forget about your professors. They’re there to help you succeed. That doesn’t mean grades are negotiable, or that you get to tell them how to do their jobs, but it DOES mean that you can go to their office hours, ask for letters of recommendation, and even just nerd out about their research (Professors LOVE when you nerd out about their research with them).
That concludes Part Seven of the 2023 guide on How to Succeed in College. Come back next time for advice on how to approach your assignments with a positive attitude.