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Student meeting with advisor

Top 5 Tips for a Successful Technical College Career

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First off, congratulations on taking this first, important step to change your future!  

College is exciting, and challenging and can be overwhelming. But it is manageable. Whether you’re right out of high school or starting college after years of being in the workforce, these tips can work for you.  At Nicolet College, we are here to help you succeed. 

  1. Get Organized. Buy a planner, use a digital calendar system, or a combination of both. Just make sure you have enough space to write or type in your class times. It’s also a good idea to build study times into your daily plan. Often times we schedule for class, work, and family time, but forget study time.
  1. Manage Your Surroundings. Set yourself up for success. Find an area of your home where you can study without any interruptions. If you have a family, that can be tough. Try studying after your children have gone to bed. There are a lot of areas on campus you could make your own, or if you prefer, head to a coffee shop or even outside. The point is, find somewhere you can focus. Speaking of focus, put your phone away. Studying is the time for studying, not checking your social accounts. They won’t abandon you, we promise.
  1. Engage in Class & With Instructors. Going to class seems obvious, right?! You’ll be surprised how many of your fellow classmates ditch the class time. Even if you have to adjust your life schedule a bit, it’s worth it. Your instructors are experts in their field and come with a vast amount of knowledge to help you understand the material. Plus, the best part? They are right there to answer your questions. Introduce yourself to your instructor. They are real people who want to see you succeed. Go to their office hours or send them an email, be respectful and make great connections.
  1. Take Care of Yourself. When you’re busy with an overloaded life schedule, it’s easy to put yourself on the back burner. Taking care of yourself by eating healthy, exercising, getting enough sleep, and visualizing positive outcomes can make a world of difference. If you’re making wise food choices, you have more energy to do the things you want to do. You are more alert and focused and accomplish more. The same goes for getting enough sleep. Low sleep makes for a sleepy you, which means you’re likely not paying as much attention in class as you could. As far as exercise, take a walk, hit the gym or do some lunges while you’re brushing your teeth. You’ll be amazed at how you feel when you take care of your body even if it’s for 10 minute spurts throughout the day. Lastly, visualize success. Think positive and tell yourself, you can do it, because you can. It’s your future, believe in it and you.
  1. Broaden Your Horizons. Whether it’s making new friends or checking out campus clubs, meeting new people is fun and worth your time. Start a study group with some of your classmates; they might have a handle on parts of the class you are struggling with and vice versa. Take a course that doesn’t necessarily fit into your program area or a community-based class like computer technology to sharpen up skills you’ll need no matter what career path you choose.

Remember, these are tips, not resolutions. Tackle one tip at a time instead of all of them. Set yourself up to succeed. If you fall behind, start over. Every minute is a new chance to begin again. Good luck to you this year!