How to succeed in college

By Augustine Ugalde

Many East Los Angeles College students go through a daily routine that includes juggling work and school in order to survive in the world.

The demands for academic and professional success can be burdensome, but some find the chase exhilarating. The question is why do we put ourselves through such a grind when we could settle for much less in our lives? Reducing hardships that cause stress would probably translate into a longer, happier life for lots of us.

Of course giving up on your education would mean living a life less extravagant, but it has been said before that money isn’t everything. It is possible for people to live satisfying lives without conquering the world. If you are of the mind to pursue the American dream that includes a house in the hills, two cars in the driveway and 2.5 children, you must do the little things in life to realize this. This is especially true for students who study first and work second.

One of the best, little things you can do is get to class on time. Yesterday, while sitting-in on the first day of a short-term class, I watched the teacher grow increasingly irritated as student after student came in late, disrupting her class. To her credit, she never wavered, at least not outwardly, but her frustration began to show when the eighth student walked in half an hour late.

Incredibly, this student was not the last to walk in late, four more followed him. What struck me most was the lack of urgency on his face. It seemed as though walking in a half-hour late on the first day of class was the most natural thing in the world to do. There was absolutely no visible outward concern for his disruption. The teacher was forced to repeat some of her earlier instructions to get all other latecomers up to snuff on what was going on. As I was sitting there listening to her instructions for the fourth time I thought to myself that this teacher is a bigger person than I.

I would not have repeated myself to students who, in my opinion, are just plain disrespectful to her and my classmates who bothered to be on time. Another little thing that can help you succeed academically is to pay attention in class. Paying attention in class is a pretty big part of the learning process and, if done correctly, gives students a great chance of passing the course.

Unfortunately, some students are on their computers checking emails, Facebook and other websites completely oblivious to what the teacher was saying. Come in on time, listen to the teacher. This is not rocket science people.

Doing homework is another big part of succeeding in class. Don’t wait until the last minute to tackle your assignments. You will find that getting homework out of the way can actually relieve stress. You won’t have that worry in the back of your mind as you go about your day.

The greatest benefit that comes from perfecting these skills early in life is that they will translate nicely into your professional career. Getting on time to work, listening closely to instructions and being prepared for the day’s proceedings will give you an advantage over peers that lack these skills.

There is nothing more irritating to an employer than to have to deal with a habitually late employee. Professional success can follow a student’s successful completion of a college degree if some of these simple steps are put into practice.

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