Written by Chris Hernandez
There are many factors than impact student success in college, and most of those factors fall under the umbrella of discipline. Growing up most students are exposed widely to discipline by their parents, caregivers, teachers, deans, or principals. This is outward discipline and often reactive. The discipline needed in college is self-discipline and it is pro-active. This paper will address four areas in which discipline will aid the college student.
College classes are not structured like high school classes. There is no regular schedule to follow. Some classes will only meet twice a week while others will meet three times. Some classes will begin at 8:00 am and others will begin at 7:00 pm. Students need to be organized so as not to miss their classes. Successful students never miss their classes. Ever. They show up on time and prepared. Remember, you are paying a great deal of money to attend these classes. Get your money’s worth.
It is vital to not fall behind. If you are the kind of person who falls behind, you are also probably the kind of person that does not catch up easily. Discipline yourself to devote the proper time and energy to each class. Always take notes in class. Rewriting those notes that same day will help you organize them and fill in the gaps. Review your notes frequently to remember them, to learn them. Read your assignments and complete your projects. Do not put off paper writing or studying until the last moment. That may have worked in high school, but it rarely works in college. Your goal is to learn well so study well.
Time management is a term everyone is familiar with but not everyone is successful at. Most students enter college motivated and eager to conquer their studies. The difficulty is achieving this goal with so many other things going on. Successful students strike a time balance between academics, socialization, and, possibly, work. Devoting ample time to studying is necessary, but college life has more to offer than classes. It is a wonderful time to meet new people and create new experiences. Connecting with other students and with your instructors will help you to get the most out of college life. Participate. Just be sure to manage your time well.
Take care of yourself. For maybe the first time in your life, you will be the only one taking care of you. Parents will not be there to make sure you eat or tell you when to go to sleep. Do not begin a pattern of bad habits. Proper diet is essential to keep you at your mental and physical peak. Do not let pizza and French fries be the only foods you eat. Make eating nutritious snacks and meals a priority.
Get enough sleep. This does not mean going to bed at 9:00 pm every night. It does mean keeping the late-night partying to a minimum. You will not have the luxury of sleeping all day because you are tired from the night before. Enjoy your yourself and have fun but be responsible.
Finally, take care of your emotional self. College will be both exciting and stressful. It is easy for new students to become overwhelmed. It is important to have support whether it be family, friends, or college staff. Set aside some time every day to just breathe.
The college experience can be amazing and should be amazing. Being disciplined will help keep you on the right track so you can get the most out of your college years. You can be successful, but you must be mindful as well.