You've done all the prep work -- you've gotten good grades in high school, scored well in the world of standardized testing, and been accepted into the college you want to attend -- so enjoy all your hard work while laying the groundwork for a successful college career. Don't be a statistic; be determined to make it through your freshman year -- and beyond. Take advantage of your network of new friends and professors, have fun while learning as much as you can, and get the most out of your college experience.

You've done all the prep work -- you've gotten good grades in high school, scored well in the world of standardized testing, and been accepted into the college you want to attend -- so enjoy all your hard work while laying the groundwork for a successful college career. Don't be a statistic; be determined to make it through your freshman year -- and beyond. Take advantage of your network of new friends and professors, have fun while learning as much as you can, and get the most out of your college experience.


Find mentors. Going through something yourself is often the best way to learn, but that doesn’t mean you have to re-invent the wheel entirely and can’t get guidance. Many of the world’s most successful people — from businessmen to politicians to writers to musicians — found a mentor early on who represented an ideal that they wanted to become and took a fervent interest in them.
People do not handle going back to school in the same way. Some are very excited about being a college kid, so they tell the world about their new online courses. Others are embarrassed that they do not have a formal education. The latter tend to keep quiet that they are going to college online because they do not want to draw attention to the fact that they have not yet earned a college degree. (You would be surprised to learn how many highly successful people nearing retirement age go through their entire careers without the aid of a college degree!) Keeping quiet about college will make it difficult for you to garner support at work. For example, you may need to leave work 15 minutes early on Wednesdays to attend your required online class chat session. Many employers will subsidize at least a part of employee’s tuition and training bills. Don’t forget to ask about tuition assistance plans at your place of employment. If you work for a small company, try asking for tuition assistance to cover the expense of specific online courses that may directly correlate to your work.
This is the person who will help you with course conflicts, adding or dropping courses, scheduling of classes for future semesters, deciding on majors and minors. This person is a key resource for you -- and should be the person you turn to with any academic issues or conflicts. And don't be afraid of requesting another adviser if you don't click with the one first assigned to you.

Debra Wheatman is a certified professional resume writer and career coach, and the president of Careers Done Write, a leader in professional resume and career services. Debra is a globally recognized expert in the field of career planning and management, with more than 18 years of experience in corporate human resources. She has formed partnerships with more than 10,000 job seekers, advising people from diverse backgrounds in connection with career advancement, and can package executive level skills and accomplishments in a compelling and creative way to generate interest on behalf of decision makers at leading corporations. Debra has been featured on Fox Business News and CNN, and has been quoted in such publications as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Forbes.com. You can reach Debra directly at debra@careersdonewrite.com or via phone at 732.444.2854.
A truly great resume should highlight your achievements and immediately answer the hiring manager’s top-of-mind question: “Can this person solve my problem?” Not only should the education section of your resume be concise, but it should also relate to the job you are seeking. If you’re a recent graduate, you’ll need to put a bit more focus on your education section since you likely don’t have a lot of professional work world experience yet. You don’t want to include every single course you’ve ever taken, but you also don’t want to merely list your credentials.
If you have friends in your classes, you may want to consider holding a study group every week. Here, you can bounce ideas and questions off of each other so that you can better understand the material. Everyone learns in different ways, so you may learn some test-taking strategies from your classmates. Study groups are especially helpful for college students, especially when going over a study guide for an upcoming test.
Online courses are popular ways for students to earn college credit while balancing working and other time commitments. Since you are working through the course on your own time, it is important to follow a specific schedule and to complete your reading and assignments online. You may be taking an online class through your two or four year college or through an online college program. Regardless of the class type, there are specific things you can do to ensure that you succeed.

Know that when the time comes to begin looking for your first internship or full-time job, LiveCareer has your resume and cover letter writing needs covered. Use our resume builder and cover letter builder to craft top-notch documents in no time at all, or work from our resume examples and cover letter examples, all of which are organized by job title and industry.
Since online courses are more independent and self-paced than in-person college courses, the process of studying can be a bit different than with in-person courses. Make sure to re-watch any lectures, videos, and/or slideshows that the teacher posts, take notes, jot down questions you have, utilize the class discussion board, do some outside research to fill in gaps in your understanding, and reach out to your teacher if any questions you have remain unanswered.

People do not handle going back to school in the same way. Some are very excited about being a college kid, so they tell the world about their new online courses. Others are embarrassed that they do not have a formal education. The latter tend to keep quiet that they are going to college online because they do not want to draw attention to the fact that they have not yet earned a college degree. (You would be surprised to learn how many highly successful people nearing retirement age go through their entire careers without the aid of a college degree!) Keeping quiet about college will make it difficult for you to garner support at work. For example, you may need to leave work 15 minutes early on Wednesdays to attend your required online class chat session. Many employers will subsidize at least a part of employee’s tuition and training bills. Don’t forget to ask about tuition assistance plans at your place of employment. If you work for a small company, try asking for tuition assistance to cover the expense of specific online courses that may directly correlate to your work.
The most common culprit of free time is TV. Most adults spend about 20 hours per week watching TV. We are not saying you should never watch TV; we’re suggesting that you give up watching the TV shows that do not really interest you. Free up your time. Record what you love for viewing on demand and nix the rest of that dead TV time. Reducing your TV time by 10 hours per week will result in 10 hours of free time to devote to your online education. Ten hours of free time per week is enough to complete that long-delayed dream of earning a college degree.
Study space has a direct impact on study effectiveness. If you’re home office is the family living room, you may find it hard to focus. Evaluate your current study locations to find the best spot to access the Internet, complete your assignments, and connect with your classmates and teachers. A quiet area with good lighting, comfortable seating, and enough space to spread out your books and papers can make all the difference in how productive you are.
Before you apply to an online program, make sure you know what online learning is all about. It’s not for everyone! Is face-to-face interaction with teachers and classmates important to you? Some students find they learn better in a physical classroom while others are comfortable learning independently. How good are you at managing your time? Online learning requires high autonomy and high accountability.
I was/am a nontraditional student (about five to seven years older than most students at my university), so this was not quite in my realm, but I was often jealous of the many opportunities afforded to these students. Yes, you have to go to social events. Yes, you might get categorized as a snob or fill-in-the-inappropriate-name-blank, but you really can benefit from the social network and resources (such as old tests).
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