Tips and Suggestions to Start a Successful College Career

1. Make A Plan

Write down what your goals, fears, and plans are. When you write a paper do you just start writing it, or do you do an outline? Find out how much school is going to cost, how much money do you have to pay for school, how many scholarships you have and what do they amount to. This will give you a starting point. Do you have a job right now? Are you going to keep it throughout college or are you only going to work during the summer? What do you want to major in or what are you interested in? After that, research what the average starting salary is for the job you may be interested in what schooling do you need to get to that point. If you see what I'm trying to get across, you need to try and find out as much information as possible before you go to college instead of trying to figure it out afterwards. Being prepared is always the best position to take.

2. Find a Job

Talk to parents, friends, your future school about jobs. Go out and get as many applications as possible, research the companies you want to work for and make sure that it is something that relates to what you want to do in school. Why work at a bank if you are interested in becoming a doctor? The more background you can get in your future college degree before and during school, the more likely you are to have great references, good information about what goes on in those career fields, and most importantly you could have a job after you get your degree. Jobs are not easy to find, I know, and so do all the people that are unemployed at the current time. Try your hardest, make a great resume, and prove to the person you interview with that you are worth their time and money. Show you have worth for what you are interviewing in.

3. Budget

You could put this in the planning section, but I felt like this needed to be its own top 10 talk. Ask for help when it comes to student loans, interest rates, budgeting your money. Parents are filled with a wealth of knowledge because they have already experienced things that you have not. If you are a parent reading this, talk to your children about experiences that you have had. Budgeting is one of my biggest pet peeves. Television promotes people that spend money on lavish ridiculous things. It never actually shows how average people budget money to make it through the year on a set monetary budget. Learn how to do basic things like how much income do you have, what are your fixed expenses, and what are your variable expenses. In the long run this will help out tremendously because if you write it down, you can go back and grade yourself on how well you did for the past week, month, or year and find ways to improve it. The earlier you learn to budget the better off you will be during college and after you graduate.

4. Cut Unnecessary Expenses

This may sound obvious, but spending over what you bring in will put you down the wrong path. There are thousands of things that people buy that they don't need. Whether it be fast food, soft drinks, or video games. There are numbers of expenses that you can decrease if you make an effort to. Instead of video games why not spend some time writing a scholarship essay or volunteering at a shelter? I know, these ideas might not sound the most appealing but they are a great improvement to your well-being as a person and also improving the concept of helping yourself as well as others. There are a ton of things that you can spend time doing that don't cost money, you just need to go and find them.

5. Learn How to Study

High School is not a good judge of how difficult college will be. I wish someone had told me how much additional time would be spent on studying during college. I would say there is a good estimate for every one hour in high school you spend, you will probably spend 5-8 hours in college. You need to learn how to sit down, focus on whats at hand, and complete it. Plan your time accordingly. The one thing that will always get students in trouble in college is procrastination. You will put off studying for a test or writing a paper for two weeks and then decide on the last night that you are going to pull an all-nighter. If you plan ahead and do a small amount every night, you can spend that last night reviewing for a test or proofreading a final paper that you will turn in. This will not only cut down time in the long run and give you more sleep, but you will also score better on tests, and have a better grades on papers when you turn them in.

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Kevin is the Founder of, a self-improvement blog that's goal is to aid future, current, and past students reach and maintain the goal of being debt free.

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