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Five Rules for College Freshmen

Aug 12, 2008
The secret to earning a college degree is not a secret at all...just get to your junior year. If you get that far, you're almost guaranteed a degree.

In fact, if you complete your second year of college, the odds of your earning a B.A. or B.S. degree are high. That's because very few students drop out between the completion of their sophomore year and the beginning of their junior year.

It is the freshman year that students find most challenging, and it is the freshman year when they are most likely to drop out. It's not too hard to figure out why. The first year of college is a time of transition and adjustment, and neither is easy. However, if students follow a few simple rules, they'll be OK. Here are five.

1. Attend all scheduled classes. There is a reason this is the first rule listed. If you think it's OK to miss classes, remember this; you're just a freshman...you don't know anything yet. You only think you do.

2. Put yourself on a schedule and stick to it. Be sure to schedule study times, study breaks, and sleep time.

3. Don't get behind. Review the syllabus in each of your courses, be aware of when assignments are due, and know when the busiest periods of the semester will be for you. That way you can do your best work without having to cram or be under the kind of stress students feel when they have not stayed on top of their coursework.

4. Don't go crazy with your newly found freedom. If you drink excessively, burn the candle at both ends, and put play ahead of your assignments, your days in college will probably be numbered.

5. Make college your home...become engaged. Reach out to new people. Join a club or activity. See that you take advantage of all that's available to you on campus.

Nobody can guarantee that you'll enjoy college. And, certainly, nobody can promise that you'll earn a degree, but following the five rules above will make you a good bet to be both happy and successful.
About the Author
Daniel Z. Kane is a university dean who has created highly popular websites offering information on online college degrees and online degree programs which can be earned without interrupting your career.
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