Thriving in college could be overwhelming, but with a few helpful tips, it is feasible. Over my college journey at the University of Denver, I have accumulated dozens of tips on how to be successful at school. To simplify things, I will group these tips under: Academics, Social life, Health & well being, and Internships & jobs search.
The University of Denver is unique in that it does not operate under the conventional semester system, instead a trimester calendar is used. How does that change things? A trimester, also referred to as a quarter, is only ten weeks long. Due to the shorter nature of a quarter, students typically have more workload to do over a shorter period of time. To mitigate the potential stress from the quarter system, I recommend students:
Invest in a planner, I use a planner on a day to day basis. In fact, I would not be here today without my planner! The two most common type of planners are: digital planners, and physical planners. The type of planner I prefer to use is, Google Calendar, which is a free digital scheduling and time-management calendar. On my calendar, I like to layout my academic and social responsibilities for the day, week, month or even quarter. Having a calendar keeps me in check and informed on what I have to do each day, so that I do not miss out on any activity. In return, this helps me succeed in college because class attendance is very important. In fact, several studies show that there is a positive relationship between class attendance and student performance.
Attend Office Hours, to get the extra help you need from your professors. Almost every professor offers office hours when students can come in and chat, learn, or ask for whatever help they need in a specific class. I find it very helpful to utilize office hours, because I am able to build a professional relationship with my professors, and get their feedback on my homework or assignments. This in return, helps me succeed in my college classes.
Work hard, play hard. While it is important to excel in your academics, to be truly successful you have to strike a healthy balance. Which is why, it is important to work hard in school, and play hard, or reward yourself in other words. I like to work hard during the weekdays, and on weekends I like to reward myself by hanging out with my friends, sleeping in, and doing homework at my own pace! Without a healthy balance, I cannot be truly successful as a college student.
Join organizational clubs, if you want to be more engaged on campus and meet new people. Joining an organization is a wonderful idea! The University of Denver offers hundreds of different organizations based on athletic, cultural, or social interests. During my time here in the University of Denver, I have been a part of Delta Zeta sorority. It was a very wonderful experience, because it gave me an opportunity to make friends with a lot of inspiring women, and learn about how they use their identities to thrive in DU.
HEALTH & WELL-BEING
Eat a balanced meal, your diet is very important! Make sure to eat three meals a day and carry snacks with you at all the time. If you do not have access to the dining halls, be sure to grab a meal from the on campus cafes and dining spots like the Front Porch Cafe, Einsteins Bagels and Bros, and Subway. Missing a meal can have severe health implications and can ultimately affect your success level since you won’t have the energy to do things.
Exercise indoors or outdoors. Whether you like to hike or go to the gym, Denver is a perfect place to exercise. On campus we have the Coors Fitness Center, which provides fitness services free of charge for full-time DU students. We also have different organizations on campus like the Alpine Club, or the DU Backpacking Club which provide outdoors fitness opportunities in Colorado for free of charge, or at a small fee. Over your time here in the University of Denver, make sure you take advantage of the available outdoor opportunities.
Know your on-campus resources, such as the Health and Counseling Center (HCC). If you need counseling help or access to medical services make sure to familiarize yourself with the HCC. After all, success is achieved if you check up on your health and well being.
INTERNSHIPS & JOBS SEARCH
Career Center is readily available to help meet the needs of DU students. On campus there are several career services: one offers general career services for all students, which is located in south side of Driscoll Bridge, the other career services office are located at different colleges such as Daniels Business of College, Sturm Office of Career Development & Opportunities, and Social Work Career Services. As a business student, I have found the Career Services office very helpful. I was able to secure two internships in my field of study. In order to be successful at college you have to seek opportunities that will help you apply what you have learnt in the classroom in the real world.
You made it all the way across the world to pursue your education in the United States. Try to make the most out of it and don’t forget to make every second count!
Author: Dareen Khairi from Jordan
Editors: Anh Chip Pham & Grace Sullivan
Learn more about other international students experience at the University of Denver: