Essential Tools for College Success :Guest Blogger Holly McCarthy
Over the last several decades, college has become less of an option and more of a necessity in the eyes of high school students around the country. Even reluctant learners know the importance of getting a college education. However, as retention rates continue to be examined, it is clear that many entering freshmen are not up for the rigors of collegiate life. What follows is a brief list of essential tools for college success.
Studying isn’t just something that people do; it is a skill that is developed over time through a variety of avenues. Some study skills are taught in school, while others are tailored to the individual student’s needs through trial and error. The important thing for the student is that he or she has a method for studying materials that will ultimately help them to be successful.
Time Management Skills
The ability to manage time effectively is another thing that many college students haven’t been taught before setting foot on a college campus. Many times, students are accustomed to bells throughout the day to make sure they are on time for classes, as well as constant reminders by teachers about deadlines, homework, etc. For many college students, it is a rude awakening indeed when they are asked to rely on a syllabus (many don’t even know what a syllabus is) for pertinent information regarding a course.
Similar to study skills, the ability to effectively and efficiently take notes in class is a foreign notion to many entering freshmen. Students need to learn a variety of shorthand or come up with their own set of symbols and abbreviations in order to keep up with the pace of lectures. Knowing what is important to write down and what can be looked up after class is another distinction ill-prepared student are unable to make on their own.
In the current collegiate environment, many classes are writing intensive; writing skills hold many students back at the college level. Often, entering freshmen operate under the assumption that writing is just for English or literature classes, but nothing could be further than the truth. Writing is used in most college classes because it proves that the students have a working knowledge of information and are able to use this knowledge to analyze and then express their thoughts in an original manner.
Many modern students will consider this somewhat simple, given their widespread use of social media. However, the ability to talk with others, make contacts, and communicate effectively in-person are all necessary skills that can make or break a college career. While the ability to use technology for networking purposes is a good skill to have, it is not the preferred mode of communication for many professors on campus.
This post was contributed by Holly McCarthy, who writes on the subject of a college degree. She invites your feedback at hollymccarthy12 at gmail dot com