How to Succeed in Community College
Last updated August 17, 2023
Congratulations on starting community college! With so many new things to learn as you transition from high school to college, you may (understandably!) be feeling a bit overwhelmed. We’re here to help! There are steps you can take to ensure your time at community college is productive and will help you reach your educational and career goals. Here are some tips for succeeding in community college!
Define your goals
What do you hope to get out of community college? What are your academic and professional goals? How will community college help you achieve these goals? These are questions you should ask yourself when starting school. Having a clear vision of what you want to accomplish in community college can keep you centered and on track when things feel difficult or overwhelming.
The end goal for attending community college does NOT need to be transferring to a 4-year university. If you know what you want to pursue academically and professionally, and it doesn’t align with attending a 4-year university, that’s all that matters. Your journey is your own, and community college is an excellent place to start it.
The most important thing to remember is that any degree you pursue at any college should interest you and have good job prospects for after you graduate. If you have doubts about your major or degree path, be sure to talk to your academic advisor or counselor.
Form a good working relationship with your academic advisor
An academic advisor (or college counselor) is usually a professor or faculty member that new college students are assigned to. At some schools, it is required that students meet with their advisors regularly - at least once a quarter or semester - in order to be able to register for classes and progress through their majors; at other schools, meeting with them may be completely optional. Regardless of what your school requires, we highly recommend taking the time to meet with your advisor regularly and form a good working relationship with them! Here are a few ways your academic advisor can help and support you in college:
- Choose the best classes for your schedule
- Register for classes
- Explore majors and programs
- Give you tips to succeed academically
- Connect you to resources on and off campus
- Define your academic and career goals
- Keep you on track to graduate!
It can be intimidating at first to meet with an advisor - especially if you’ve never done it before. That’s why we made a list of the best questions to ask your academic advisor to make your meetings productive and go as smoothly as possible!
Learn good study habits
You’ve probably heard this before, but students spend a LOT of time studying in college - so picking up good study habits early is helpful! Read our best study tips here.
Go to office hours
Office hours are hours that professors make themselves available to students outside of class to ask questions, understand difficult concepts, and receive help. Just like your academic advisor or counselor, your professors are there to help you learn and succeed, so be sure to reach out when you need help! Showing up to office hours is a good way to make connections with your professors and show them that you want to do well in their classes.
Manage your time
College students are busy! If you have other responsibilities outside of school, like work, extracurricular activities, or taking care of family, you may have to practice a good amount of time management. Read our best tips for planning a productive day here!
Utilize your school’s resources
College campuses are packed with students, so they have plenty of great resources available to students to de-stress, have fun, stay healthy, and succeed in their jobs and academics. These resources are typically free, because access to them is covered in your tuition and student fees. Here are a few of the free resources you’ll likely find on your campus:
There are many career paths to choose from after finishing community college - so being informed of all of your options is important. If you’re unsure of what you want to do professionally after finishing school, talk to someone at your school’s career center! They can walk you through potential career options with your degree as well as connect you to jobs or internships that can give you some valuable job experience in your desired field!
Not ready to head to the career center quite yet? Check out our list of best websites to explore careers!
Get involved in clubs and extracurricular activities
While focusing on your academics takes priority, college is also a place to have fun! There will be plenty of opportunities at your school to try new things and meet new people, such as clubs, intramural sports, on-campus events, and more. Stay informed of what’s going on around campus, and if you can, try to attend as many of these events as possible. This is a great way to get a sense of your school’s student life AND make some new friends!
Have any questions about community college? Text us! Send #Hello to 33-55-77 to chat with one of our advisors. If you're using a mobile device, click here to have the text message set up for you!