Succeeding In College


College is about growing your knowledge base, not memorizing for a test.

As you earn your degree, you must use what you learn from chapter to chapter, course to course. At the University level, you question and test, adding active research components to your learning. Take an honest look at your study habits. Do you know how to study smart?


If your goal is an “A”, then you need a plan to earn it every day! You have about 15 weeks in most terms to make that happen. Review each course syllabus for how the key elements weigh in calculating your grade. Put key dates for tests, projects, final exams for all your classes into a planner with your personal events.

TIP: Academic Advisement publishes a term calendar with key academic dates and reminders. Decide how best to meet you commitments. Remember college level work must be refined and polished so allow ample time in your planning for such. Work backwards from due dates to give yourself deadlines to pace your work and your life. Next, organize your week entering all your class meetings, reviews, labs into Weekly Study Plan, then label study blocks for each class (2 study blocks for each 1 hour of class time per week minimum).

Consider the following when planning your study times:

  • Study in shorter sessions with specific goals (label each block to identify focus).
  • Study lecture notes promptly after each meeting to enhance retention and recall of information.
  • Study at your peak time for that subject. If you are strongest with math in the morning, then plan to study early in the day.
  • Study your most difficult subject when you have the most focus. Avoid the tendency to study what you like first.


Find regular study nooks for yourself on campus and create a study place where you live. Train your mind and body to study in these areas.

Be sure your space is:

  • free of distractions to allow your full focus in your studies – so turn off your cell!
  • free of interruptions – tell family and friends this is study time
  • well lighted and comfortable enough for work –your bed has the wrong cues.

Maintain Balance - 

There is so much happening on a University campus that students can easily be distracted or consumed.

Initially, just finding your classes, parking, buying books and handling assignment loads can put you off balance. Some students focus so much on their studies that healthy habits slip. While your studies should be a high priority, you must maintain a balance in your life to succeed.

Take Care of You

Remember to feed and exercise both your mind and body! Eat regular proportioned, healthy meals. Limit junk food and alcohol. As a Augusta University student, you have access to an array of exercise options across the University – check these out in your first days and make this part of your daily routine (note in your Study Plan). Give some thought to your sleep space. Work out sleep, awake and entertainment times with your roommate/suitemates/family to minimize interference with quality sleep. Avoid all-nighters and studying in bed.

Transitioning to University life can be stressful. Acknowledge this and then work to create a balanced routine. We all need help at times so do not hesitate to tap your campus resources. Your advisor is a good place to start.

Take Care of Your Finances

In college, this may be the first time some are managing their own expenses. You may have aid, scholarships or other allocations, but it is important to handle your monies thoughtfully so that you can pay tuition/fees by due dates, buy books and materials when needed, eat regularly, and enjoy some treats to celebrate accomplishments.

Be sure to note all key financial dates and ready any needed information or monies by those dates. Create a budget for yourself to help you meet your obligations and be prepared for any contingencies. Begin by tracking where your money goes for a couple of weeks recording all bills and purchases (also note periodic items like tuition or insurance); determine what is coming in and when (job, loans, scholarships, etc.). Then build a three column budget for income, anticipated expenses and actual expense. Test your plan for a few weeks recording your actual expenses as you pay them. Make adjustments including an honest look at “needs” versus “wants”. Managing your funds effectively supports a balanced life.

Take Care of Your Campus Life 

Be sure to take full advantage of campus life. Visit a gallery opening, a guest lecture, a lyceum event or a “Pig Out”. There is always something going on to enlighten or expand your knowledge beyond the classroom and usually it is free or at a reduced rate for an active student. Often student activities allow you interact with students, faculty and staff that you may not know. These are opportunities for growth and frequently rather fun too!

If you would like to take on more of a leadership role on campus, reach out – they are always looking for good people. Check out the clubs and organizations. Some may foster a special interest you have while others support specific majors. Participation in campus life is often the source for graduates’ best memories of college.