I find it fascinating how priorities going into college change drastically once the classes start and the period of “adulting” begins to set in. It’s almost as if you’re thrown into this alternate universe that is forcing you to manage so many things all at once.
No wonder college student success doesn’t come easy!
That’s Why I’m Bringing the Experts to You
Instead of giving you a one-sided view of what college was like for me (you can always read Things Students Should Know Before Graduating College for more on that), I asked some current and former students to share their experiences and what helped them to achieve college student success, whether it be in their social lives or in academics.
Today, these ladies all manage their own blogs and are doing awesome things in the world around them, so I highly encourage you to hop on over to their sites and see what they’re up to!
Advice for College Student Success
“Do what you love. Major in what you love. Pursue what you love. You can always find ways to make money in the field of your choice. But you were given your talents and passions for a reason. Don’t squander them in pursuit of making easy money. College is a time to educate your mind and invest in yourself – how fulfilling would your life be if that investment was made in a major that actually fired you up instead of drained you?! Study what you love and then hustle to discover the best ways to make a career out of your passions. Ignore the haters and discouragers, they are not living your life. You are. You get one life, might as well make it awesome!”
– Taylor from Taylor Duvall
“My best advice to give college students is to make your education your own. Take classes that interest you or on topics you’ve never taken before and learn something new. Or see if your school will let you create your own major so you can completely personalize your degree. You will be much more invested and willing to push yourself to excel if you know you had a hand in crafting your education.”
-Michelle from Look Through My Lens
“Get involved. Whatever your passion is, find others with the same passion and form community with them. Whether it’s Greek life, sports, art, academics, campus ministry, or church, find your “people”. The friends you go to when you need advice, a dinner date, a study buddy, or just someone to hangout with. Also, don’t be afraid to try new things and realize that the person you came in as isn’t the one you’ll leave as. You will change: embrace that and love it. College challenged me to step outside my comfort zone, and it made me who I am today.”
– Kayla from Choosing Joy
“As someone who just graduated from college this June, my primary advice would be to invest in deep, meaningful friendships. Find some people that you share beliefs and values with and then really put in the effort to build a solid relationship with them. I’m definitely guilty of having obsessed over my homework and other obligations a lot, and while that is ‘technically’ what I was in college to do, I wish I would have given my dear friends some more of my time before we all dispersed after graduation. I found (rather, was found by) a lovely group of girls in my Christian fellowship group, and they really showed me what this relationship building was all about. They were not afraid to challenge me and question some of my choices, which only added to the boundless support and encouragement they gave me. It really helped me navigate my way through all the changes and big decisions that came with those college years.”
– Heather from Heather, Here & There
“The most important thing that you can do in college is to learn how to value yourself. You need to learn not to skip meals, to go to bed at a decent time, to not procrastinate, and to sometimes say ‘no’. Realistically, you will find yourself doing the opposite of every single one of those things on the majority of days, and that is okay. College is full of opportunities and you need to put yourself out there to get involved. Make friends, join that club, and dress-up for that event. It is such an exciting time, but sometimes the amount of events can be largely overwhelming—and ultimately distracting from your studies. Find a balance. You can have fun and succeed. This is the best time in life to learn who you are and what you want to be. Contrary to what you have likely been told, it is okay to put yourself first occasionally. In fact, it is actually healthy to do so. Believe me you will thank yourself later.”
– Kelsey from Just a Friend Named K
“Ten years ago this summer, I was preparing to start my freshman year of college. Saying that makes me feel incredibly old, but it is also amazing to look back and see how I have learned and grown since then. The piece of advice I would have given myself and I give to you is this: learn to truly love yourself and others. College is a time of exploration as you learn more about who you are and your core values. It is easy to get caught up in the academics, success, and the comparison game while in college. Take the time to learn about and embrace who you are and accept others for who they are. Make lasting, meaningful friendships. Go ahead and major in the field that you truly love, regardless of what others will think. Invest in relationships and invest time in discovering your passions and purpose for life.”
– Julie from A Modest Vessel
“My number one college tip would be to be intentional about your friendships. While being friendly and social is a great thing (definitely go to any school hosted events!), make an extra effort to cultivate true friendships that will last a lifetime. Hang out with people you want to be like, not just who’s “cool”. Better to have a few close friends that will always have your back than 1,000 acquaintances and no one to talk to.
Oh, and ladies, buy a handheld steamer. Your outfits will thank you.”
– Brittany from The Kardia Blog
“For many, college is the first time away from home and the first time being able to make decisions without parental input. This new freedom is overwhelming for some. As a result, some find themselves in situations that leave them ashamed and disappointed. Should this happen to you, DO NOT stay stuck in the moment. You cannot move forward if you are always looking back.
Of course, I would rather you make the right decisions the first time, such as scheduling classes for times you know you will attend, working on assignments before heading out to the party, walking away when pressured to do something that goes against your values. However, if that does not happen, always remember, “In life there are no mistakes, only lessons.” Learn the lessons from your wrong decisions and move forward. It happened. It is over. Now, begin again!”
– Keishawna from The Jolly Moments
This is REAL TALK going on above!!! You may have this tainted view that college student success only comes when you get straight A’s or graduate with honors, but the truth is that there is so much more to it than that.
Take time to invest in yourself, invest in others, and enjoy these years… They will be over before you know it.