Welcome to the Fall semester! I hope that things are off to a spectacular start for all of you. Knowing that we see the largest number of students who are attending college for the first time in August, I wanted to offer some advice on how to be successful as a student at FRCC.

1. Take Charge

You get to be in control of your education. It’s exciting! You have likely already noticed that you are now responsible for a lot of tasks that someone else may have handled for you in the past. Embrace this opportunity by learning as much as you can about the resources available to help you meet your educational goals and then take advantage. Read the syllabus for every single class so you understand your instructors’ expectations, create a calendar of important due dates and deadlines to avoid falling behind in class, find out about tutoring and other support services before it becomes an emergency. You will quickly realize that students who are organized and proactive tend to experience great success.

2. Maintain focus

This can be extremely difficult in a world full of distractions but you are attending college for a reason. Whatever your individual plan or goals may be, if you are here at FRCC it is because you have chosen to prioritize your education at this point in your life. Focus on what you want and on what you need to do to get it. Be present in each moment. If you are in your English class, focus on your current assignments and activities in that class, and on the grade you want to earn. If you are meeting with an advisor or instructor, turn your phone to silent and commit fully to the conversation. Keep your end goal in mind. It’s not always easy to give up an extra shift at work to attend class or have an argument with a significant other about how much time you need to spend studying, but it will be worth it when you achieve what you set out to do.

3. Make connections

I know you’ve all heard this: “It’s not what you know…it’s who you know that make a difference.” I would argue that both are important but there is no question that being a good connector and building networks is key to success, in college and in life. Don’t just show up to class, do the minimal amount of participation, and go home. Talk to your instructors and fellow students. You never know who else might be sitting in that Macroeconomics class with you. Perhaps someone who already works for a company you have identified as a potential future employer? A lot of our faculty and staff members at FRCC have rich and fascinating histories and are well-connected within the community. Get to know us and let us get to know you. I remember students who share their stories with me and if I learn of an opportunity that might benefit them or meet someone that I think they should know I get in touch to make sure they hear about it. College is a lot easier and a lot more fun when you’re not going it alone…start building your network.

These are just a few tips to help you get off to a successful start. What strategies have worked for you?

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