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Six Tips on How to Succeed in College Start the year strong with these quick tips

By Amoni Reynolds, Graduate Assistant in Office of Student Experience

Whether you’re starting college for the first time or returning, it’s helpful to initiate good habits now and put things in perspective. In this upcoming year, we want you to flourish and enjoy the journey toward your degree. Start with these six easy tips and ways to succeed in college. 

  1. Get Organized

Organization is key to academic success. Knowing when you have papers and projects due is important for passing coursework and keeping up with your grades. Having the syllabus handy will allow you to plan ahead and give yourself the proper time to complete all assignments and get good grades.

  1. Get Some Sleep

As a college student, it is important that you take care of your body so that in return your body takes care of you. That means getting adequate amounts of sleep each night. At this age it is recommended that college students and adults receive between 6-10 hours of sleep per night. Recent research on college students and sleep indicates that insufficient sleep impacts our health, moods, GPA and our safety. Sleep really matters!

  1. Get Involved

Join clubs and activities at National Louis University that interest you. If we don’t offer the sports you play or the club you want, then please feel free to talk to your school administrators or contact Student Experience ( and see if you are able to start your own. Never be afraid to pursue your interests! The Office of Student Experience is committed to your personal and professional development through student organizations, volunteer opportunities, wellness programs, leadership workshops, honor societies, networking and building the community with fellow students and more!

  1. Set Goals

Before you can reach goals, you have to start setting goals. It is important to strategize for success so as a student you have a clear idea of what you want and how you are going to go about making it happen.

     1.    Keep it simple. Define the goal as clearly as possible. If you are not sure exactly what

you want the road to reaching that goal can be bumpy.

  1. Break it into small steps. Small steps make the goal manageable and obtainable. This

reduces stress levels and allows you to witness progression.

  1. Choose a starting point. When will you begin working on your goal? Set a date and

begin! This will clarify how much of a priority the goal is to you.

  1. Know Your Learning Style

Knowing what type of learner you are is going to help you become a better student while optimizing your learning capabilities. When you are able to determine the type of learning style that is best for you, you will find better results when studying and preparing for exams.

The three main learning styles that students differentiate among are visual, auditory and tactile (also called kinesthetic).

Visual learners should look to sit toward the front of a classroom so they won’t be distracted by outside variables. They will also benefit from using study tools like highlighters, diagrams and illustrations.

Auditory learners can find soothing music helpful to their study process. Memorizing material is done best by listening and or explaining material out loud to others.

Tactile learners must do things in order to learn—clicking on a computer screen, using sticky notes, and manipulating objects are all helpful for tactile learners.

6.Fall Down/Get Back Up

You will make mistakes during college, and you may make a lot of them. There will be moments, when you feel overwhelmed by new pressures and challenges. Take a breath and cry if you need to. Give yourself time and understand that the way you are feeling is completely normal. It is important to recover and rise up from your mistakes. Dust yourself off and do something positive and constructive that makes you feel better. Understand that life goes on and that we learn and gain strength from the things that challenge us and our abilities the most.

At NLU, we’re invested in you.  We’re here to help and provide you with the support and services you need, including quick tips on how to succeed in college. Good luck in the upcoming term!


Johnson, Sharon L. (1997) (2003). Therapist’s guide to clinical intervention: the 1-2-3s of treatment planning. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
National Sleep Foundation,