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August 26, 2014

How to be successful at college

I was on campus at Glendale Community College yesterday, and couldn't help but notice the flurry of activity as the new semester was getting started. I was just walking over to the Fitness Center, so all it gave me was food for thought. And I thought about being successful in college, what I had seen, and what I had done. And really, there are some tricks to it. This is what I have learned:

• Show up. This is extremely difficult, for many reasons. A college is not a high school. They don't come and get you. If you've been used to the type of shuttle service that schools provide up to, but not including, college, you can't be blamed for being slightly shocked by this. This means that you have to know where the school is, you have to know how to get there, how to park in a gigantic parking lot, and allow time to walk up to a particular building on a campus. I remember doing this when I first started at Phoenix College, and believe me, it's no joke. Just sitting in the correct class, on time, is an accomplishment. And if you just focus on that in the beginning, you will have a head start over most people. It sounds like I'm kidding, but I'm not.

• Don't do a *wait and see*. If you're wondering if your instructor really means it when an assignment is given, believe it. I used to say, *really, really*. A lot of people wait and see if the book is really necessary, if the homework needs to be done. By the time many of them have waited it out, they have failed, and have run out of time. Really, really.

• Keep coming back. That's just good advice for everything that you want to succeed at in life. Some days are better than others. Some days you feel great, some days you don't. This is the advanced part of showing up. Keep doing it. Find a reason to get to class that day. Maybe they're serving something you like for lunch at the Food Court. If you're wondering why parking gets so much easier after the second week of the semester, it's because people fail to come back. Don't be one of them. Get that good parking spot, and that good grade.

And there you go. Being successful in college is something that will help you throughout your life. Whatever your college degree is in, it ultimately tells people that you show up, don't wait and see, and keep coming back.

You can do this!

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