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College success tips for little brother

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The summer after high school graduation I thought college success was inevitable. I was 18, arrogantly confident and the first in my family to attend a university.  It ended up taking 10 years to get my bachelor’s degree. Life punched me in the gut and left me gasping for air. 

Now, my little brother is heading off to college looking to become the second graduate in the family. Much to mother’s chagrin, he will be the first to leave the city. 

Like any self-respecting millennial he loves a good listicle, so here are big bro’s top tips for college success. 

Masturbate often 

Don’t laugh. I wish I had figured this out sooner. When pairing horny young men with newfound independence, the result is anything but constructive. Masturbating often will release sexual tension, reduce stress and help with sleep. 

Focus is fundamental to college success. Young men can’t focus in class, study or be attentive on a date if their thoughts are constantly trailing off into sexual fantasy land. 

How much is too much?  If it starts getting in the way of job, school or personal relationships than cut back. 

She doesn’t have to say “No”

Sex happens on every college campus. What should NEVER happen is unwanted sexual advances or touching.

Just because a hook up happened before doesn’t mean she’s into it now. Even if she gives permission to make a move, she can change her mind at any time. Be aware of her physical cues. They will signal if she is comfortable with the situation. 

You can’t be successful in college if you are in jail for being a douchebag and not getting consent before sex. See the tip above and do that as often as needed to ensure you stay respectful and on the right side of the law. 

It’s a global competition, good grades are standard

One of the biggest misconceptions students have of college is that good grades and a bachelor’s degree will land a great job.  WRONG!!!  Life is a global competition for a limited number of opportunities, and employers are looking for young people that will bring real world skills to the workplace that add to their profit margins.  

There are over 300,000 Chinese students and many other international students at American universities  looking to take advantage of opportunities Americans take for granted.  

Here is how to compete:

  1. Multiple internships  Don’t wait for senior year to land an internship.  Obtain multiple internships throughout college to build real world skills, expand your network and gain necessary experience. 
  2. Join professional associations- No matter what career you pursue there is a professional association for it. Being a member of a professional association allows you to  take advantage of benefits like networking events and workshops.
  3. Lead a student organization- Join one of the many student organizations on campus and work your way up to student leader.  Learn to accomplish goals through others, teamwork and the necessary interpersonal skills it takes to succeed post grad.
  4. Find passion projects– Being focused on your career is great, but take the time to find other interests. Organize a drive to help the homeless, train for a marathon, or learn an instrument.

Get to know your professors

Don’t sit in the back, play on your phone and fight the sleep monster. Get to know your professors and engage with them during class. Ask questions, seek clarification and drop-in to their office hours to learn about their work. 

If professors see you making an effort to learn, they will be more likely to give you the benefit of the doubt should you have an unexpected emergency during the semester. Professors are also more likely to recommend you for opportunities or connect you with their network if you impress them.

Don’t expect anyone to teach you

Learning in college is self-driven. It’s not the professor’s job to ensure you learn.  It’s not the internship’s job to ensure you walk away with the necessary knowledge and experience.  It’s YOUR responsibility.

There are numerous resources at your disposal. Don’t be too proud to ask for help. Use all of them:

  • Tutors– The university often has tutoring services that are included in your fees. 
  • Mentors– Seek a mentor that you connect with on a personal level as well as professional. Your mentor should want to be involved as you evolve in your career.
  • Professor office hours– If you visit the professor during office hours you can get more one-on-one instruction and avoid the hit on your GPA.
  • Youtube / Google– Youtube and other websites are a wealth of information that can help you in your studies, but take care not to plagiarize. 
  • Other Students- Join a study group, compare notes or ask another student to tutor you.  They may be able to explain concepts in a way that is easier to understand and show you some academic life hacks.

Always be professional 

Professionalism is a lifestyle.  It doesn’t just apply to the workplace.  

It’s just as important to show up on time for the Hispanic Business Students as it is for PricewaterhouseCoopers.  Be conscious of what your appearance says about you in the gym, in the classroom, at the club and at the workplace.

New classmates may seem chill, but you don’t know their trigger points. It’s all fun and games until the wrong thing offends someone and drama ensues. 

Fellow students, professors and employers are more likely to give uppertunities if they see you live a professional life on and off the clock. 

College success, play the long game

When it comes to college success play the long game. Other students can bluff through an interview or cram for a test, but very rarely can they keep up the scam for 4+ years.  Life has a way of giving these students a reality check.  Over the course of college there will be setbacks and obstacles. Nobody is expecting perfection, but students are expected to take active control of their education and career instead of being a passive bystanders.

 

 

 

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