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The Road to Academic Success: Recommendations for Your First Semester

The Road to Academic Success: Recommendations for Your First Semester

Learn more about degree programs at American Public University.

By Ryan Laspina
Senior Specialist, Red Flags and External Reviews at APUS

Are you planning to attend college for the first time in 2018? Maybe it is your New Year’s resolution to go back to school and pursue a degree or maybe you finally have enough time for a college education.

Returning to higher education or starting school for the first time can be scary, but college can be one of the best experiences of your life. Here are some recommendations for your first semester in college.

Take an Introduction to College Course during Your First Semester

You may be required (and you absolutely should) take an Introduction to College course. While the course name and criteria varies from school to school, most colleges (including American Public University and American Military University) require students to take such an introductory course. It is best to take this course during your first semester.

An Introduction to College class helps you assess your current knowledge and teaches you the skills you will need to succeed. These skills include how to write an essay, cite sources, and manage your time and workload.

Seek Help During Times of Doubt

You will experience times of doubt while in college. That inevitably happens, no matter how good a student you are. College is completely different from high school and a brand-new experience for first-time students.

Working toward a degree will challenge you, but there are always resources at your school to help with any situation. Do not be afraid to reach out to school staff members – professors, guidance counselors and even financial aid advisors – to help you work through any challenges. A school’s resources can give you support in times of doubt and strengthen your confidence.

Learn from Everyone You Meet

At college, you will interact with people of different backgrounds, ages and learning styles. College is the best place to learn new ideas and broaden your perspective.

While everyone in your class may be completely different, they are all there for the same reason – to gain knowledge as they work through their academic programs. Be respectful of everyone and you’ll benefit from the academically enriching environment.

Remember that YOU Are Responsible for Your Academic Success

In higher education, you are completely responsible for your success. College professors will treat you as an adult and expect you to be motivated and diligent.

Also, you will need to develop excellent time management and organizational skills. Your grades will depend on putting forth your best effort and prioritizing your time and commitments.

College Is Not Easy, but It Is a Wonderful Growth Experience

College can be a new, exciting adventure, but it can also test your mental and emotional strengths. Working through an academic program should not be taken lightly, but it should be an enjoyable experience.

Hard work and flexibility are key to an enjoyable first semester. Good luck!

Learn more about degree programs at American Public University.