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Nine Mistakes that "Kill" College Freshmen

Jun 19, 2008
Want a frightening statistic? Fewer than 60% of entering college students earn a degree within six years. Many drop out and never earn a degree. Here is how to be sure that doesn't happen to you.

1. Be aware that you're not still in high school. The day you begin college, say (out loud), "I'm not in high school anymore". Then, repeat it five times, and never forget it.

2. It's not just something grandma made up...scientists have proven that you need at least eight hours of sleep to function properly. Get less and it can hurt you, no kidding.

3. If you're consuming a significant amount of alcohol during the week, even in the evening, after your work is done, you're severely hurting your chances of being successful in college.

4. Drinking excessively, even on weekends, is not "part of college life", as some folks would have you believe. Heavy drinkers frequently fail to complete college.

5. Catching up may not be tough in high school, but it can be very tough in college. Keep up with your assignments and don't leave your major papers until the last minute.

6. Use a lap top to take notes, revise notes, and write papers. Save everything on your hard drive and back everything up on a jump drive that never leaves your desk (and therefore can't get lost).

7. Be careful not to carry too heavy an academic load during your first two semesters (remember suggestion #1 above...you're not in high school anymore). You may need some time to adjust to the increased academic demands of college.

8. If you plan to work, limit yourself to an absolute maximum of twenty work hours a week. More than that will make you four times as likely to drop out (literally!).

9. If you are having difficulty with any aspect of your life, get help sooner, not later. This applies to academic issues, personal issues, adjustment issues, etc. Remember, whatever your problem, professors, academic advisers, residence hall staffers, and counselors have seen it (and helped students deal with it) many times.

Just faithfully adhere to the simple rules above and use your common sense, and your odds of success in college are high. Remember, unless you're majoring in physics or engineering, it's not rocket science.
About the Author
Dr. Casper Poodel is an education writer for an organization which produces websites on topics which include online colleges and accredited online degrees.
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