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College Success: What it means and how to make it happen

What will you major in? What job will you get? Is college even the right decision for you? Why is it so important? College is a time to make big decisions, and it’s important to maximize your time here.

The Student Advising Center at BYU-Idaho is here to help all students achieve their goals. They are doing all they can so students can succeed in their college lives.

Here are five major tips summarized by the student advisers based on their experiences helping thousands of students over the years.

Use Grad Plan

Grad Plan is an immensely helpful tool that helps students plan out their semesters here at BYU-I. Grad Plan ensures students don’t take excess credits that could delay graduation and result in paying more tuition. It also helps them make sure their prerequisites for higher-level courses are met.

Academic Advising is an excellent place for students to go with questions regarding their classes, major or Grad Plan.

“Our goal as advisors is to help students reach academic success, and to guide students in the decision-making process,” said Jenna Ludlam, a peer advisor for the College of Physical Sciences and Engineering.

Schedule an appointment online to meet with an academic adviser.

Go to class

Most students have a “cutting budget”: The number of classes they think they can miss and still do well in the course. After missing a class, you might think, “No big deal, I’ll get the notes,” but regularly attending your classes is one of the easiest ways to get better grades and stay on top of your assignments.

Jenna Ludlam, a peer advisor for the College of Physical Sciences and Engineering, is helping a student understand the program.
Jenna Ludlam, a peer advisor for the College of Physical Sciences and Engineering, is helping a student understand the program. Photo credit: Lupei Huang

Get help from others

Connect with your professor, contact your class’s teaching assistant or visit the tutoring center.

One of the single most underutilized resources at college is office hours, which are now available in-person, by email or Skype. Professors are required to be in their office two to four hours a week to meet with students and help them with the course.

“Meeting with professors during their office hours is almost like a rarely used secret to college success,” said Rob Eaton, a professor in the Religious Education Department. “When students meet with professors individually, studies show they tend to learn more, get better grades and even thrive after graduation.”

Take care of yourself

College life can be a lot of fun, but it can also be hard work. It’s important that you look after your physical and mental health so you can make the most of your time.

Self-care in college is one of the primary ways to balance stress and ensure overall wellness as a busy student. Making your well-being a priority can help pave the way for continued success in your educational journey and beyond.

Jenna Ludlam, student peer adviser, working in the office.
Jenna Ludlam, student peer adviser, working in the office. Photo credit: Lupei Huang

Pursue your passion

Amidst all the general education requirements, prerequisites and classes for your major, it’s easy to forget what your intellectual interests, gifts and passions were in the first place. Each semester, be sure to take at least one course in something you’re good at and are really interested in.

“It’s difficult and even unusual for students to know exactly what they want to be or do until they’ve tried out a few options,” Ludlam said.

College is an opportunity. An opportunity to discover who you are and what you want to do with your life. Even if you change your mind, education is as much about how you learn as it is what you learn. Taking advantage of the many opportunities which happen in college will be key to obtaining lifelong friendships and rich experiences.

Success may be near or far. The key is how you prepare for it.

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