10 Tips for College Success

Become a successful Billiken: Advice for your first year at SLU.

Somewhere between turning the key on your dorm room for the first time and being handed your first college class syllabus at Saint Louis University, you'll get some good advice. 

SLU's convocation is a fixture of Welcome Week and offers tips for college success from current students and University leaders. Here are some of our favorites:  

10. Take care of yourself


Eat right. Drink moderately. Exercise. Get enough sleep ... Most of you are on your own for the first time. Don't use your independence to eat junk food, or to be a couch potato, or to turn into a zombie.

9. Be resilient

Here's the truth: college is hard work. It is a challenge; one that requires resilience, commitment and serious dedication. Dig deep into your resolve. Reflect, pray, meditate and go for your dreams with renewed energy. Whatever your challenge, give it your all.

8. Ask for help

With all of the pressures that come with being in college, you may feel at times like a tribute in the Hunger Games. Your SLU safety net includes Student Health and Counseling, Campus Ministry, and, of course, your resident advisors. Trust them. And please remember: there is no shame in asking for help.

7. March to your own beat

This is your time to find your footing, to discover your voice and, perhaps, even to re-invent yourself in discovering your true potential and to fulfill it. Trust yourself. Take a chance. Take prudent risks! You might fail, but that's OK. After all, trying is a true act of bravery.

6. Stand up for others

Saint Louis University is committed — in words and in actions — to social justice. We believe in helping everybody. Embrace people of all ethnic backgrounds, religious beliefs, and sexual orientations. Interact with people from around the world. People who are different than you. Remember, it's not enough just to be tolerant. Be accepting. 

5. Connect

Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and text messaging are great ways to stay in touch, but don't forget to build real-world, person-to-person relationships. You will make lifelong friends at SLU. So sign out, log off, and shut down your electronics — at least from time to time.

4. Play hooky

Well, not really. You owe it to yourselves (and your parents) to attend every class, to complete every lab assignment, and to pay close attention to your professors' lectures. But get involved. Volunteer for a worthy cause, join a club sport, explore our SLU-Midtown Neighborhood or visit the Saint Louis University Art Museum or one of our other fine museums.  

3. Lighten up

If you remember to laugh — especially about yourself — you will arrive at your college graduation with a grounded perspective, an abundance of coping skills and an appreciation for the joy that is all around us. So, don't take yourself too seriously.

2. Make prudent choices

Now that you are beyond school bells and curfews, please make choices that do not embarrass yourself or, even worse, your family. Avoid unnecessary risks and unwise behaviors. One night's bad judgment could wipe out your future. So use common sense and make wise choices. And know that it's OK to say "no."

1. Have faith

My mother used to say to me, "Be honest, and love the Lord." Consider your relationship with God. Nurture that relationship. Respect others' beliefs, and live by your own values, principles and ethics, as well as by "The Golden Rule."

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