Difference between Try and Triumph

The difference between try and triumph is a little UMPH!  Students often attend class and study and go through the motions of “trying” to get a decent grade.  According to Arum and Roksa, in the book titled Academically Adrift, over 1/3 of college graduates didn’t improve their writing skills, critical thinking skills, or reasoning abilities during their time in college.
Attending college with a little more UMPH can make a huge difference in the outcome of the 4 (or 7) best years of your life!  Here are 5 ways to help you TRIUMPH in college:

1.  Attend classes.

Okay, this is an obvious suggestion, but it won’t be quite so obvious as you settle into college life and realize that there’s no detention or punishment for missing classes and discover that the professor’s lecture notes are online. According to the Educational Policy Institute, students who skip classes increase their odds of dropping out of school by 250%.  Your class hours drop by more half when you go to college. You have access to some of the most accomplished experts in their field, and you are paying a tremendous amount of money to have access to them. Don’t waste it.

2.  Live in the Academic Moment

A college education is a classic process-versus-product paradigm. Plenty of students complain about their work or obsess about their G.P.A., but that’s just wasted energy and time. Focus on your assignments, papers and projects for their intrinsic learning value; the grades will come naturally.

3.  Find the Working Side of Academia

Every college has opportunities for undergraduates to do research or to assist in large-scale academic endeavors, so actively seek them out, even if you haven’t been on campus very long. You’ll be rewarded by the people you’ll meet and the insight you’ll gain on the institution as a whole.

4. Use tutors.

College classes can be much harder than anything you experienced in high school, which is why colleges offer free tutoring to its students. The tutors are often upper classmen who are majors in the subject. The tutors may do a better job of explaining the materials than the professors and they are usually far more accessible.

5. Choose a major you love.

You have a better chance of succeeding in college if you major in something you truly love rather than picking a college major that you or your parents think is more practical. If you like your college major, you are more likely to devote more time to it and to excel.
Some experts have suggested that you need to devote 10,000 to master a subject, whether it's Mozart or Michael Jordan - and you are more likely to be able to pull this off in your career if you like what you're doing.

(Excerpts from Tip Sheet | How to Succeed in College by Jeffrey Durso-Finley and Holly Burks Becker, September 6, 2012 and 5 Great Ways to Succeed in College by Lynn O’Shaughnessy, Moneywatch, July 12, 2011)


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