By Casey Jones

As an incoming freshman in college, some find themselves constantly worrying about how they can manage, while others take it head on without worrying one bit.

Most of us, including myself, are the former.

When I enrolled, I assumed this would be one of the most difficult experiences in my life. After about a month, I managed to figure out how to easily achieve a passing grade.

The steps to achieving academic success are very simple, despite how college is portrayed.

Step 1: Attend your classes. This probably seems redundant to say, but students have a tendency to skip classes for that few extra hours of sleep.

I frequently found myself hitting the snooze button several times and then eventually just turning it off and going back to sleep, or just not having the motivation to attend class.

It can be hard, but the return is worth it.

Step 2: Read the assigned reading. Again, doesn’t seem that hard, does it? But to some, the reading seems pointless.

Step 3 (this ties into step 2): Do your homework. It takes up time and energy that could be used more effectively elsewhere, like partying, gaming, or just about anything else, right?

But the difference is how much you are paying.

Even if you’re on scholarships or grants, the money put into your education is tremendous. By not doing your homework, you are basically wasting the money you, your parents, the college, and the government provided to give you a higher education.

A single five-credit hour class that you fail (and don’t drop out of) wastes over $400.

Step 4: Participate in class.

This doesn’t mean you have to ask a question every few minutes — it just means to be attentive and invest yourself in the class.

Take notes. Ask about anything you’re confused about.

Step 5: Get some sleep.

Whether your classes are set back-to-back or spread out throughout the entire day, the most important thing you can do is attend with a full night of sleep under your belt.

Lack of sleep has detrimental effects on your mind, decreasing your attention span, ability to focus, and, most importantly, your ability to stay awake.

Step 6: Maintain healthy relations with your professors.

This is one of the most important parts of going to a community college: The ability to have one-on-one help from your teachers. Maintaining friendly teacher-student relations makes the experience less tedious for both parties.

These steps do not guarantee a 4.0 GPA; too many variables exist that could inhibit your learning experience, just as variables exist to enhance it.

Succeeding in college isn’t as hard as it’s made out to be. Stay vigilant in your coursework and you will pass.

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