A Guide to College Success

 

By: Melody Hansford

Many high school students across the country and the world are actively contemplating the pursuit of a college education. As the world has undoubtedly changed, so have the ways that prospective college freshmen think about college.

 

Dr. Weider, a professor at Liberty University, explains his perspective. “High schoolers tend to think that college will be exactly like high school, only a little harder. Or if they get all As in high school, they will get all As in college. This is not true.”

 

He goes on to say, “College is a completely different environment. You need to have self discipline.” Dr. Weider further explains that college students need to have dedicated study times to do well.

 

“I suggest using an automated calendar to keep track of any assignments or quizzes that are due.” He later states that reading through the syllabus for each college course taken is "one of the best things you can do.”

 

To avoid the ‘freshman fifteen’, Dr. Weider suggests that students should develop a healthy meal plan before college begins. “You should have a schedule for your sleeping patterns, as well.”

He adds, “If you need eight hours of sleep, then go to sleep at eleven pm, to wake up at seven for your eight am class.”

 

“Most college freshmen have their evenings free.” Dr. Weider advises students to develop their time management skills and to treat college “as a job.”

“One of the big mistakes that new students make is that they don’t read enough.” He further explains that students need to learn a myriad of information for their college courses and to complete their required reading.

 

When asked for advice about choosing a major, Dr. Weider states that students should avoid pursuing majors or jobs that pay well but are unfulfilling.

 

He further explains that students should first identify what they are passionate about, and then gain experience in those fields to narrow down the possibilities of what they can do.

 

Dr. Weider suggests gaining experience through internships and by networking with people who have devoted their careers to a student’s area of interest.

 

He mentions that students should look into adding community service to their resumes. “Doing community service helps build your character,”

Liberty's college hall.

Photo by John Smith

He explains that many Fortune 500 companies actually prefer their applicants to have community service on their resume as it establishes your selfless qualities and leadership abilities.

“It’s important to know yourself,” Dr. Weider continues. “My ultimate piece of advice,” for college students, “...is to plan to get as many new experiences as possible.”

 

Dr. Weider suggests that if students are able, “they should take trips, meet people from different backgrounds, get to know them, and never settle for the comfort zone.”