Submitted by Cinthia.
Advising students on how to be successful in school and in the real world after graduation is something I enjoy, because of the accomplishments I, myself, have obtained. There are three basic habits that my fellow students should adopt, if they want to reach success, not only in school but in their field of specialty after graduation: 1) focus on long term-goals, and divide them into short term goals, 2) take full advantage of the tutoring services offered in college, 3) and very vital, do not procrastinate.
Starting with long-term goals, long-term goals should be achievable and realistic. In other words, if you are not planning a PhD (Philosophy Doctor) or Doctorate degree, do not work your way towards that direction. Work towards a shorter goal. However, if you choose to achieve a Master’s or a PhD, divide your long-term goals into short-term goals. For example, start from your Associates, then your Bachelors, then your Masters, if required by your program before entering a PhD program, or simply follow the order until reaching a PhD or a Doctorate.
Within each stage (AA/AS, BA/BS, MA/MS, and Doctorate/PhD), shorter goals must be accomplished. Being very organized on what classes you really need to take is very important. In other words, try to finish your core requirements before anything, and if you can combine electives with your core requirements, choose your electives wisely because the more classes you take, the longer you take to finish; and the more money you will need to invest. Using the strategies mentioned, will help you very much, no matter what field you enter, after graduation.
Moving on, if on your way to your short-term and long-term goal, you find yourself with the need of extra help in your studies, do not forget that our colleges are there to provide with the extra tutoring needed. For example, when I needed help with my writing skills, thanks to the tutoring provided, now I am able to apply those skills in my classes. How much do you think I paid for that service? I paid nothing. You are free to choose other alternatives, but they can be costly. In my case, using the tutoring services helped me tremendously in my classes, and in my job. Do not feel undervalued or incapable of accomplishing your goals because you need a tutor. Anyhow, when you get to the real world, you will receive training in the company that you choose to work for; this training is sort of like tutoring because, even with a degree, that does not guarantee that the skills you will need in the real world will be gained in college.
Finally, envisioning your long-term goal and dividing them into short-term goals, in combination with the use of the tutoring services provided in your college, there must be no room for procrastination. Many students have trained themselves to be what some people call, “Professional Procrastinators”. In other words, many people prioritize less important activities leave their vital priorities for the last minute; and as a result, those procrastinating do not become successful in many areas of their lives. In the case of my fellow students, if you leave everything for the last minute, you might be able to accomplish certain short-term goals, but in many cases, you will not accomplish your ultimate goal. For example, if you term papers and your readings assignments are not done in the time frame required, that will turn into an unacceptable grade; and consequently, into a low Grade Point Average (GPA).
Low GPA’s may get you to certain places, but it will not take you to levels like MA/MS or PhD/Doctorate Degrees. Many of these reputable programs may deny you for having a low GPA. For many people, that can be very frustrating and very hurtful. On the other hand, the solution can be found right on your hands. In other words, do not leave everything for the last minute, do your readings and home works on a timely manner, and study hard for your exams. Partying is a very enjoyable activity, but if it means to reduce your partying, it is worth it in the long run. Alternate enjoyable activities can be a great source to distract yourselves, but too much of it can hurt your grades.
To conclude, it is very important how you deal with your long-term goals, because it cannot be accomplished in one shot; your long-term goal must be divided into short-term goals. If in need of extra school help, do not hesitate to use the tutoring services provided at your colleges. And finally, do not become a “Professional Procrastinator” it can be very hurtful and painful.