Success Tips for College and for Life

Solutions for Non-Traditional Students

image of familyThe picture of this family reminds me of so many non traditional students who return to school after an absence just how much our past experiences can influence what we see ourselves as capable of today.

 

 

Most striking is how often past failures can lead us to believe that we can’t be successful in the present.

Often these Non-traditional students will tell me the biggest handicap they had to overcome when returning to school is letting go of the past.  Frequently, they weren’t stellar students the first go around, and that’s what kept them from returning to school sooner.

Remember this.  No matter what happened in the past, you are a different person now.  You’ve had new experiences, new trials, new lessons.

You may find it helpful to know that many of the world’s most successful people have had major league set backs, and were not considered to be  traditional.

Fortunately, they just keep on learning from the past and moving forward. As long as you keep learning, adjusting and pressing on, you will find the success you’re looking for.


Hi, College Success Speaker, Crystal Jonas- Bio LinkI’m Crystal Jonas,

As a former academic advisor and assistant professor at the United States Air Force Academy, I know what it takes to make college students more successful, and enjoy school whole lot more.

Ask about speaking or coaching for your students or faculty. Call me at 719- 291-0366.

Friends Help Determine Success in School

image of friends in schoolKnowing who to choose as friends can improve your success in school!

 

 

 
This is true no matter how old you get, my friends.  Even after you leave the hallowed halls of higher education, you will be greatly influenced by the crowd you run with.

Who are your friends? Who are you hanging out with now?

Do they care about not just going to school but graduating?  Graduating on time?  Graduating on time and moving smoothly into a great job which they have prepared themselves well for?

Well, if they are, good for you.

Student success studies show that more than your level of education, or your religion, or whether you came from a two parent house, more than any other factor, your peer group will determine how successful you will be.

We become like those we hang with.

Picture your friends.  You are the average of the five people in your social circle you spend the most time with.

Scary prospect?

Consider joining a club that draws more of the people who want as much for themselves as you do.

Do you have the right friends?

Good, now you go be a good example for them, too.

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College Success Speaker, Crystal Jonas- Bio LinkHi, I’m Crystal Jonas,

As a former academic advisor and assistant professor at the United States Air Force Academy, I know what it takes to for student success and have them enjoy school whole lot more.

Ask about speaking or coaching for your students or faculty. Call me at 719- 291-0366.

Getting on the Teacher’s Good Side in College

teacher in front of classroomAbout 85% of your success in life rests on your ability to get along well with others. This includes gaining and keeping good rapport with the teacher. If she likes your attitude, you’re much more likely to max out that discretionary 10% that has a significant influence on your grade.

Go Early and Stay Late – 

Okay, you don’t have to keep sitting there minutes after the class ends. You should, however, come a few minutes early and stay though the entire class. No need to be the last person to leave, just don’t create a draft trying to get out the door at the end of class.

How early do you need to come to class? Early enough that you have your book and notepaper out and your pen poised and ready to go before the professor even opens his mouth.

Why? Because often, she has either just taught a class or just reviewed his notes, and wants to make sure she makes some critical points before they slip his mind. Sometimes, students will be talking to him just before class starts, and maybe they’re all asking the same question.  She will use those first few moments of class to clear up the issue for the entire class.

Also, your teacher may wrap up the class making sure she touches on and reviews key concepts one more time before you go.  Remember that key concepts are testable material.  Coming a bit late or leaving a bit early, unless it is absolutely necessary, and you’ve mentioned it to the teacher beforehand, makes you look bad.  It may appear that you don’t plan your time well, so you cant get there on time.

You may seem (gasp!) lazy and thoughtless. A tiny transgression that’s more damaging than you’d think: coming a little late to class or leaving a little early. Be aware of the image you project in the classroom. Whether you realize it or not, something as small as coming in a minute late from time to time, or packing up while the teacher is still talking and slipping out a moment early makes you look bad.

It suggests disrespect for the teacher and the class. Whatever your reason for being late, correct the situation so you can be where you need to be when you need to be there. If you absolutely must be late or leave early because of an appointment, let the professor know ahead of time.

Now that may be a lot to read into being late and leaving early, however, all the professor has to go on is what she sees, not your reasons for doing it.

And when you do go to class, be there! 

Sit as close to the front as is comfortable, focus, come prepared, and take part in active listening and note taking.  When the time is right, jump on in and ask a question.  While you are at it, answer a few questions too. It’s your class, so make the most of it.

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College Success Speaker, Crystal Jonas- Bio LinkAs a former academic advisor and assistant professor at the United States Air Force Academy, I know what it takes to make college students more successful, and enjoy school whole lot more.

Ask about speaking or coaching for your students or faculty. Call me at 719- 291-0366.

Make the Most of Your Study Time

Brain workoutStudy Smarter and watch your brain grow!

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Are you one of those college students who claim they don’t have time do study? People are pretty casual with the way they spend their time.  Many spend over 7 hours a day watching TV, and then complain about not having enough time.  Try something different, something most don’t dare do.  Lose that TV!  At least while you’re in college.  You’ll be surprised just how you will end up spending your time!  The same goes for internet surfing, but, you’ll probably not want lose the computer just yet.

Think of time as money.  You have it, you spend it. When it’s gone, you’re SOL (So outta luck).  So, use time carefully and remember what Benjamin Franklin said, “Do not squander time, for that is the stuff Life is made of.”

Study Smarter, Study Less  Yeap-o.  You read that right.

Don’t study:

  • Anything you already know. Why should students spend their time just to study material they know?  Don’t bother re-hashing old news!
  • Anything you haven’t reviewed quickly first. Skim through your notes, text.etc. Research shows that when you quickly review within one hour, you retain what is learned even better.
  • When the TV is on. Many say they can multi-task when they study, but MOST students just think they can!
  • When your time is better spent napping. 20 minute power naps can do wonders to improve retention when you study.
  • When you’re distracted. If you’ve got a lot on your mind, perhaps you should take care of that business, particularly if it can be resolved quickly.

Better to spend 15 minutes of time with focused studying, than 60 minutes when your mind is elsewhere.  Do not even think about wasting your time this way.

Clear your head.  Focus.  Study.  Review.  Be done.


College Success Speaker, Crystal Jonas- Bio LinkHi, I’m Crystal Jonas,

As a former academic advisor and assistant professor at the United States Air Force Academy, I know what it takes to make college students more successful, enjoy school whole lot more.

Ask about speaking or coaching for your students or faculty. Call me at 719- 291-0366.