Many of the skills and qualities you’ve developed in your extracurricular activities are useful to you as a college student. If you’re facing an academic challenge and can’t figure out how to tackle it, you might take a cue from your extracurricular experiences. Whether you play an instrument or a sport, perform in the theater or in an a cappella group, the skills you’ve learned from these activities can help you succeed in your classes too.
|Develop discipline and focus||You know the importance of getting in “the zone” and blocking out all distractions in order to perform at your best.||You can benefit from minimizing distractions and training yourself to study when and where you are productive|
|Do something every day||Daily practice is necessary for you to perform and excel—no matter what the activity may be.||Daily attention to each course will keep you on top of assignments and help you retain what you are learning.|
|Acknowledge your weaknesses and strive to improve||Like everyone else, you achieve success by capitalizing on your strengths. But you also know that you have to work—sometimes quite hard—on overcoming your weaknesses.||College work frequently presents challenges to students who have breezed through high school. You can meet those challenges by honestly assessing how you need to grow and working to develop new skills.|
|Set goals and work with them||You did not excel in your field by simply hoping it would happen. You did it by setting out to do it and meeting small goals in order to achieve your ambition.||Resolving to achieve a big goal like “I want to do better in Orgo” isn’t nearly as effective as setting out smaller, achievable goals like “I’m going to review my notes every day” or “I’ll go every Tuesday to the Chem Study Hall.”|
|Learn from a mentor||All performers benefit from the guidance, support, experience, and rigor that coaches and teachers provide.||Mentors are everywhere: faculty, graduate students, and even fellow students. Make connections with people and not (just) grades.|