Getting Started at Appalachian Simple tips to help you be successful

Set Goals

Ask yourself what you want to get out of college. Think about long-term and short-term goals. What do you want your life to be like? Think beyond "get a job" or "get good grades." What does being in college mean to you?

Setting goals gives you DIRECTION!

Make a Plan

When will you study? Where will you study? How will you break up that large project? When will you make time for extracurriculars? Will you get a job? When will you exercise?
Time will get taken up with all sorts of things. Be intentional and make your plan. Then honor yourself and your goals by following the plan!

Know the Expectations

It's no secret that college is different from high school. What they don't tell you is that each class is different, each instructor is different, and the expectations CAN fluctuate.

Knowing the expectations for each course can drastically improve chances of success!

Go to Class!

Yes, even if there's no attendance policy. Yes, even if the class is huge. Yes, even if you hate the class. One of the 1st keys to success is SHOWING UP! After all, you're paying to be there. Use it!

Join Activities

Research shows that students who join activities on campus increase their feelings of belonging (i.e., comfort on campus and feeling at home). Students who DON'T engage are more likely to feel isolated and even transfer or quit altogether. There are SO MANY options for you!

Find something fun and interesting and find your people!

Take Breaks

Our brains are pretty awesome, but aren't built to sustain unlimited attention. Build in breaks into your study time.

For instance, study/work on assignments for 30-40 minutes, take a 5 minute brain break, come back and review your work and set a new goal to move on!

Meet Those Deadlines

Your planner (either paper or digital) is your lifeline to college success. When you get your syllabus for each class, write down ALL of the deadlines (yes, even readings!).

Let the paper hold the information so you can focus on learning the content!

Ask for help, early and often

Do you know how many professionals are working on your campus, just waiting to help you? Take advantage of these services you've already paid for! Things like tutoring, academic coaching, counseling, career help, wellness programs, research assistance, help with writing papers, help when your computer crashes, etc.

It's all waiting for you! USE THESE SERVICES!

Get to Know Your Professors

Your professors are here to help you. And they LOVE talking about their subject (hey, they've spent YEARS studying that one content area).
Visit them during office hours. Ask questions before or after class. Email them (politely). Cultivate these relationships. Behaviors today write recommendation letters tomorrow!

Recognize that Mistakes Happen

You will mess up.

Everyone does.

Learning to recognize that failure is a great teacher can help you turn that mistake into an opportunity.

It's all in how you look at it!

Take Notes! Review Notes!

Find a format that works for you and use it. Review your notes regularly. Start with 24 hours after taking them (so you still remember the discussion and you can fill in blanks/make corrections/clarify), and then every few days after that. This spaced practice and review will reduce the stress of exam prep tremendously AND you'll have knowledge long-term!

A win-win!


College is a time to grow and find your passions and interests. It's a time to explore new ideas, activities, events, etc.

Don't be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. Challenge yourself!

Who knows what you'll learn about yourself?