College is a time of change, growth, and exploration. It can be difficult to find your footing in the first few semesters, but it’s important you don’t give up. Though no one’s college experience is the same, everyone can benefit from a little guidance along the way. But how do you find the very best advice for students to be successful?
In this article, we share some actionable tips and our best advice to a student who wants to have a successful college experience and needs help navigating their academic life, money, and the future.
The best advice to a student to be successful in college
Success in school takes more than intelligence. It also requires a lot of discipline, hard work, and intention. So here are a few tips and advice to a student who wants to achieve a successful academic life this semester!
Take part in extracurricular activities
Extracurricular activities are a big part of what defines many students' experiences on campus. It's not only the friends and memories you make, but these activities also provide opportunities to explore your interests, expand your skillset, and build valuable connections that can last a lifetime.
Not sure how best to get involved? Start by finding an activity that aligns with your interests and passions. If you love art, join the painting club or sign up for pottery classes.
If you're passionate about social justice, get involved with student government or join a club that focuses on advocacy work.
Not only will you enjoy your extracurricular activity more if it's something you're interested in, but you'll also be more likely to stick with it long-term.
Go to office hours
This sounds like a piece of obvious advice to a student, but you'll be surprised at the number of students who don’t take advantage of this opportunity.
Office hours are one-on-one time with your professor outside of class where you can ask about anything related to their class that you’re struggling with. This is the time to go over homework problems, discuss readings, or even just talk about how the class is going in general.
If your professor knows you by name and face, they'll be more likely to help you out when it comes time for things like a letter of recommendation. So if you’re struggling in a class, take the initiative and go to office hours! It could make all the difference.
Some of the best advice for students to be successful in college is to get organized. Here are some tips to help you get started:
1. Develop a system for tracking your work
This might mean using a planner to keep track of assignments, setting up reminders on your phone, or keeping a list of tasks in a notebook. Find what works for you and stick to it.
2. Set up a dedicated workspace
This can be a spot at the kitchen table, a desk in your bedroom, or anywhere else that is comfortable and free from distractions. Make sure you have everything you need within reach, including school supplies, books, and your computer.
You also want to minimize distractions from your workspace. So try to keep your phone somewhere else and stay off social media while you study!
3. Get into a routine
Having a set schedule for studying and doing homework can help you stay on track. Whether it’s working for an hour after school every day, or setting aside time on weekends. You can create a great routine that will benefit your finances too!
Creating a routine is the best advice for students to be successful in all areas of life!
Strive for a good school-life balance
So how do you find a healthy balance between school and your personal life? First, it’s important to make time for yourself outside of studying. This can be used for things like hobbies, spending time with friends and family, or just relaxing.
It’s also important to create a study schedule that leaves some wiggle room for spontaneity. This way, you won’t feel like you’re constantly chained to your desk and you’ll be less likely to burn out.
Finally, don’t forget to take breaks! Breaks are essential for both your physical and mental health, so make sure to schedule them into your day.
Take up leadership roles
It doesn't matter if you're the president of your class or the captain of your team, it's important to take up leadership roles in school and step outside of your comfort zone.
Doing so will not only make you more well-rounded, but also give you the opportunity to learn essential skills like teamwork, communication, and responsibility.
And who knows? Maybe one day, you'll be able to use those skills in a career you're passionate about.
Start studying for exams early
When it comes to studying for exams, the sooner you start, the better. Waiting until the last minute is a recipe for disaster, as it leaves little time for review and leads to stress and anxiety.
Starting early gives you the opportunity to gradually digest the material and increase your understanding. It also allows you to identify any areas that need further attention so that you can focus your energies on those topics.
Start by making a study schedule that breaks down the material into manageable chunks. Then stick to it! Don’t let yourself get behind, as that will make it harder to catch up.
Learn to manage stress and anxiety
What is the best advice for students that will help their health? Learn how to manage your stress and anxiety! When it comes to studying, one of the biggest challenges students face is managing stress and anxiety.
It can be difficult to stay focused and motivated when you’re feeling overwhelmed by negative emotions.
However, with a few simple tips, it is possible to overcome these obstacles and achieve success in school. Here are four steps that can help:
1. Identify tour triggers
The first step is to identify what causes your stress and anxiety. This can be different for everyone, but common triggers include exams, deadlines, and public speaking. Once you know what your triggers are, you can start to develop a plan for how to deal with them.
2. Develop a support system
It’s important to have a support system to help you through tough times. This can be friends, family, or even a therapist. Talk to your loved ones about your anxiety and let them know how they can help.
3. Create a schedule
One of the best ways to manage stress is to create a schedule. This will help you stay organized and on track. Make sure to include time for relaxing and fun activities, so you don’t get too overwhelmed.
4. Seek professional help
If you find that your anxiety is impacting your life in a negative way, it may be time to seek professional help. On-campus therapists can provide you with tools and strategies to deal with your anxiety.
The best financial advice to a student
It's never too early to start learning about money management, which is why we've put together this list of money advice to a student in college. Here is the most beneficial advice for students to be successful financially!
Take advantage of student discounts
One of the easiest ways to save money while you're in school is to take advantage of student discounts. You can find discounts for everything from clothes and food to car rentals and travel.
All you have to do is show your student ID. So before you make any purchase, be sure to check and see if there’s a student discount available. You might be surprised at how much money you can save.
Learn to budget
Budgeting as a student doesn’t need to be difficult. Here are some actionable budgeting tips and advice for students in college:
1. Get rid of any unnecessary expenses
This may mean getting rid of your cable TV package or eating out less often. There are plenty of free or inexpensive entertainment options available, so you won’t need to spend a lot of money on these things.
2. Start tracking your spending
You can do this by using a budgeting app or simply writing down your expenses in a notebook. This will help you see where your money is going and where you can cut back. Check out our post "Keeping A Spending Journal To Improve Your Finances" for tips!
3. Try to live below your means
It's okay to treat yourself once in a while, but splurging every weekend might not be the best financial decision to make. Our money advice to a student is to only spend what you can afford and avoid going into debt.
Also, try to save at least 10% of your income so that you can start building your savings.
Be smart about taking on student debt
Taking on student debt is a big decision to make because it will literally impact your financial future. Here is some advice to a student in terms of taking on debt.
1. Research loan options
There are many different types of student loans, but all can be categorized as federal or private. Federal student loans usually have lower interest rates and more flexible repayment options than private student loans.
Make sure to take the time and shop around for the best interest rates and repayment options that fit your needs.
2. Understand interest rates and terms
It's important that you understand all of the terms and conditions of your loan before signing anything. This includes the interest rate, the repayment schedule, and any potential penalties for late or missed payments. So be sure to go over all of your loan details.
3. Create a repayment plan
Once you graduate, you'll need to start repaying your student loan debt. Make sure you understand all of the different repayment options available to you and choose the one that will work best for your situation.
You can also use a Loan Simulator to get an early look at which plans you may be eligible for and estimate how much you'd pay monthly.
4. Don't take on more loans than you need to
It can be tempting to take out a larger loan than you actually need in order to have some extra spending money while you're in school, but remember that you'll have to pay back every penny plus interest.
Only borrow what you absolutely need in order to limit your future debt. Check out our post for advice on "How To Avoid Student Loans."
5. Keep track of your student loans on your credit report
Stay on top of your loans by monitoring your credit report for any changes. That way, you can be sure that your credit score isn't affected by any late payments and avoid any stressful surprises down the road.
One way to find out which student loans you currently have is to request your free annual credit report from Equifax, TransUnion, or Experian.
6. Make your payments on time.
This seems like a no-brainer, but it's important to remember that late or missed loan payments can have serious consequences. Not only will you be charged additional fees, but it could also negatively impact your credit score.
To make sure you don't miss a payment, make sure to sign up for autopay with your lender. Some of our best money advice to a student is to automate your finances!
Build an emergency fund
It's never too early to start building an emergency fund. In fact, the earlier you start, the easier it will be. It's okay to start small. Even if you can only contribute $10 per week. Remember, every little bit counts, and it will add up over time.
Also, try to keep your emergency fund in a separate account. This way, you won't be tempted to spend the money on something else. Only use your emergency fund for, well, emergencies.
This may seem obvious, but it's important to remember that your emergency fund is there to help you in case of a financial setback and not a trip to Europe.
Take on a side-hustle
Did you know that there are plenty of side-hustles you can take on to help make ends meet as a student? Here are just a few examples:
- Start a blog and sell advertising space or promote products as an affiliate.
- Offer your services as a tutor or a virtual assistant.
- Make food or groceries deliveries.
- Sell handmade crafts or goods online.
- Babysit or dogsit.
No matter what your interests or skills are, there's likely a side-hustle out there for you. So if you're looking for ways to make some extra money while in school, don't be afraid to get creative and think outside the box.
The best advice to a student planning for their future
Even though you're still young, it's still a good idea to start thinking about your future and planning for it! So here's the best advice for students that will help to plan for the future:
Actively participate in career events on campus
Taking advantage of all the resources your campus offers, including career events, can be a great way to start planning for your future. These events can provide you with information about different careers.
They can also help you develop your resume, networking skills, and connect you with potential employers. Attending these events is a great way to get started in your career planning and make sure you are on the right track.
Create a vision board
When it comes to planning for the future as a student, it's important to be proactive and set yourself up for success. A vision board can help you do just that!
By creating a board with images and quotes that inspire you, you can keep your goals in mind and stay motivated to achieve them.
If you're not sure where to start, check out this article on how to create a vision board. Once you have your board made, be sure to hang it in a place where you'll see it often. This will help remind you of your goals and keep you on track.
Make a savings and investment plan
Making a savings plan is one of the best ways to ensure that you have enough money saved up for future expenses. By setting aside a little bit of money each month, you can gradually build up a nest egg that can help you cover costs down the road.
There are a variety of ways to save money, so make sure to find one that best suits your needs. You could also try one of these fun money-saving challenges to get started!
You also need to be sure you begin investing for your future as soon as possible. The earlier you start, the more you will have saved for your future and retirement!
Leverage this best advice to a student to be successful financially and in life!
Hope you enjoyed most of these best advice for students tips! College is an opportunity to explore your interests, expand your knowledge, make life-long friends, and become independent.
But at the same time, it's essential to take care of yourself during these years and set yourself up for success.
Try to find a healthy balance between social activities and academics, and don't forget to take care of your mental, financial, and physical health. By following this list of advice to a student, you can set yourself up for a successful college experience.