#DolphinsLiveWell: Being a Successful Student


As you read this issue of The Dolphin, we will be almost a month into the fall semester. Hopefully, you returning students have gotten back into the swing of things and you first-year students are finding your way! Part of being a successful student includes getting a handle on your course schedule, mealtimes, living arrangements, engaging in clubs, and other campus activities, and in general, getting your life in order here at Le Moyne. By now you are beginning to see tests come your way, as well as the 3 P’s:  projects, presentations and papers. How you manage this first round of academic work can help set the tone for the rest of the semester, and can be the difference between success and failure. When we talk about what is needed to be academically successful, guess what, here are three more P’s that can really help you: Proactive + Productive = Proficient. And  isn’t that the goal of college? To become proficient in not only your chosen major but in all your academic endeavors?

So let’s break this down: being proactive means planning and prioritizing [yes, more P’s!].  One of the most difficult challenges you will face as a college student is managing and organizing your time particularly with regards to coursework and studying. Do you have a planner? It would be in your best interest to get one instead of trying to keep everything in your head. The bookstore has them . . . and so does the Dollar Tree on Erie Blvd. You can print one for free online or, better yet, come visit the Healthy Monday Table on Sept. 28 and pick up a “Jumpstart your Semester”1 workbook/planner, as well as other tips for academic success, courtesy of the Wellness Center!  

After you write all of the non-negotiable activities for the day such as class, work, clubs, and practices in your planner, you will have an easy visual of where your free time is and will be able to plug in your homework/study time. This is a great way to take the guesswork out of your day and, by the way, did you know that organizing and creating structure in your life is a great stress reliever?

The next “P” is Productivity, which tends to be a natural result of planning and prioritizing: the more you organize your time and activities, the more time you have to actually do the work in an effective manner. If you write your class schedule in your planner, then go to class! While you are there, take notes! This sounds so simple, but isn’t easy for everyone.

If you go to your classes, listen and take notes, your productivity automatically increases. Woody Allen once said that “80 percent of success is showing up.”2 And this is true not only of class, but also of meeting with your professors and study groups as well! You will also be productive when you find a space to study that works for you, such as the library or an empty classroom.

Lastly, be persistent and persevere. There will be all kinds of distractions in college that can interfere with your academic success and it will not be easy. You might have set-backs while practicing all of these strategies, but keep on trying. You are here at Le Moyne because you can do it! Stay positive and keep asking yourself “How will I be extraordinary?”