6 Simple Ways to Community College Success

by Chad Agrawal

Every student going to a community college wants to do his or her best. But how to do it? This is not always as easy as it sounds. If you have a clear purpose, stay organized, be active, and have consistent study, you're on your way.

The six ways to success in community college will truly be beneficial only if you put them into practice. That's easy though. They're very practical!

Here are the six ways to community college success:

1- Have a Clear Purpose for Being in College

Every worthy goal has a purpose. What is your WHY for being in school? Is it because you want:

- To make more money?

- To further your career?

- To change careers?

- To achieve a life goal?

Whatever your purpose is, make sure it's strong. Make sure it's clear and that you review it often.

Goals accompany clear purpose. Make sure that you have goals mapped out and written down. I would suggest having at least a 1 year goal and a 5 year goal. These goals must have certain aspects for each:

- Be Specific

- Be Measurable

- Be Attainable

Make sure that your 1 year and 5 year goals have all of these attributes for greatest chance of achieving them.

Your goals should reflect your purpose and by extension become steps to achieving that purpose.

With a driving, clear purpose and solid goals, you are now ready to accomplish them.

Ways 2- 6 will help you achieve your academic goals and have fun doing it!

2- Make Friends in Every Class

Are you a tad on the shy side? That's okay. So am I. Making friends isn't always easy, but this is a must. You need to become friends with someone in every class. When you sit down, just introduce yourself to the college student next to you and ask him or her, "What are you majoring in?"

This is a simple way to break the ice and start a conversation. As it progresses on, exchange information (preferably a cell phone for text messaging). You can get a phone number and/ or email.

This is great for two reasons:

- First, if you need help with homework, you have someone in your class you can immediately turn to for help

- Second, if you miss class, you can call, text, or email that person and find out what you missed. This way you don't ever fall behind.

Aside from the reasons above, you can also form a study group with this person and others in your class. You could learn the material together. You can explain different areas of the subject to each other. You can also test each other for better understanding.

All of this will help you do better in your classes. Make a friend in each of your community college classes as quickly as possible.

3- Write Down What's Due In Every Class

You need a way to keep your assignments organized. Make sure that you write down what assignments are due and when. I have found that this is easiest to do at the end of each class while the professor is wrapping up the lecture.

Get a planner or notebook and write down the information below about assignments that are due the next class period or within the next week:

- The assignment name

- The assignment specifics (i.e. problem set, paper length, topics to cover, etc.)

- The assignment due date (the date in MM/DD form and the specific day of the week)

- When you are going to work on the assignment (what specific day and time will you work on this assignment?)

This might take a few minutes the first time that you do it. It doesn't always have to include ALL the information above. But, the more detailed you are, the better.

Do make sure to include the assignment specifics and due date with every assignment. These two pieces of information are a must.

4- Daily Study (An Absolute Must)

This is especially true if you are returning to school at a community college. Make sure that you have daily study, even if you have no homework for the day. This must become a habit.

The easiest way that I have found to do this is:

1- Set a specific time of day to study (like 2pm, everyday)

2- Set a specific place to study (like at the library)

3- Stick to it and make it habit

When you set a specific time, you must commit to that time. Consider it a VERY important meeting. You can't miss it. You can adjust the time if necessary. But, if you are careful when choosing it in the beginning, you won't need to change it.

Your mind and body will become conditioned to focus and study well during the few hours you spend studying at the same time and place everyday.

As you work on assignments daily, study for tests, and write papers, you won't ever have to cram. You won't have to do an all-nighter. You won't have to stress about a test. This is because you are learning in chunks, piece by piece, rather than all at once.

This will not only help you retain more information, but you will be able to remember and use the information for a longer period of time. The most important information will stay with you. This is the same way a musician or artist becomes great! Daily, consistent, focused practice.

5- Stay Organized

I would recommend that you get class folders or dividers in a binder. You will need something for each class. You will be keeping all your homework and handouts in these folders.

I always say to use what you have. Don't go buy anything unless you have to. If you have a notebook with folders in it, that's great! If you have old folders lying around, that works too. Use what you have and buy only when you HAVE to.

Label each folder with a class name. Then, keep each of these folders in your backpack. You should keep them in a binder or notebook so they don't ruin. Then keep all handouts and homework in them.

This will keep your backpack clutter free and help you stay organized. Since you keep all your homework in its respective class folder, you know exactly where to look when an assignment comes due. Simple, easy, and effective.

6- Participate in Something on Campus

In community college, there will be opportunities to participate socially. These will be in the form of groups, clubs, organizations, and service. Keep your eyes open on campus for things you would be interested in.

You might be able to find some more information about groups you can join on your school's website.

When you find a group or club of interest, go to a meeting. Meet the people there. It will be easy to start talking to them because you already share common interests.

This is a great way to balance work and play. You will be participating in something you have interest in and enjoy. You will be able to meet new people and make new friends.

This is great for growing connections with multiple people. These connections can help you in the future and help you find other opportunities to grow (and maybe even a job)!

Even though going to community college has its challenges, you can successfully navigate with these six ways. Apply each of them, starting with number 1, your purpose. Remember, your purpose drives the train of success. Spend some time with it, developing it.

Apply each of the steps in your own student life. Make the most of college and find the success you desire!

This post was written by Chad Agrawal

Chad Agrawal is the founder of CCTS, helping students transfer from community college to Ivy League, tier 1 or anywhere else by following this community college guide.

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