How to succeed as an incoming student


It is vital for new students to actually read the required sections out of the course's textbooks.

Chelsea Keyes

“American Pie” lied.

Young teens anticipate the day they leave for college; typically it is the first time they are away from their parents. Unfortunately most incoming college students are more interested in partying and having a good time with their friends rather than applying themselves to their work. For many freshmen, their newfound freedom usually results in staying up all night, skipping class and procrastinating on assignments. But such behavior will ultimately hurt their future.

The first few weeks are not the time to skip class and party every night. Students should be looking over class assignments, writing down due dates and planning everything out. Regrettably, the lack of hardcore assignments, the thrill of meeting new friends and “most importantly,” the looming weekend parties are usually what occupy students’ minds.

Procrastination is the root of all college evil. We have the audacity to think that putting off that two page analysis or only reading the first and last pages of the chapter are acceptable study habits while we adopt “I’ll get it done later” as our mantra. At a certain point “later” becomes an hour before class and then eventually not-at-all.

College is the time to prepare you for the reality of the professional world. This reality means being able to work well with others, being personally responsible and most importantly it means having the ability to meet deadlines.

Most college students attempt to dodge the “freshman 15,” those annoying 15 pounds students often gain their first year at school, but they should be more concerned with dodging the hangover they have in class after “thirsty Thursday.” Although staying fit can be important, it’s not the most significant part of your health. Getting enough sleep so you can pay attention in class will prove beneficial to your grades and your future.

An essential piece for success is studying. It’s recommended that students study a minimum of 15-20 additional hours per week. In reality, that doesn’t always happen. Usually, only the assignment due the next day gets done and sometimes it’s completed at the last minute. Studying with the television on and texting on your phone takes away from your concentration and prevents you from retaining the knowledge you need.

Employers are looking to hire students that have great communication skills; college is an excellent time to practice. Communication is a critical quality one must possess, and not enough students are exercising that skill. It is far too common for students to not speak up or contribute during lecture because of the fear of “asking a stupid question” or appearing to be that “annoying” person in class.

Students need to get involved. In college you have the opportunity to study your own career interests. Join clubs, study abroad and even attend activities. College is a new environment and culture to explore. Now is the time to make contacts, build your resume and make a name for yourself. Utilize what is available at the university to your advantage.

The transition from high school to college is often a jarring experience for new students; you don’t want to have that same unpleasant reality check when you graduate into real-life because you wasted the last four years.

-Chelsea Keyes is a sophomore communication major from Tacoma. She can be contacted at 335-2290 or by [email protected] The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the staff of The Daily Evergreen or those of Student Publications