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10 Tips for College Success: Advice for Your First Year at SLU

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

Students in Class

SLU offers many resources to help you succeed in college. 

Fall Welcome at SLU is full of 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, be a couch potato or 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. 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, it's easy to feel overwhelmed but you aren't alone. Your SLU safety net includes Student Health and Counseling, Campus Ministry, and, of course, your resident advisers. 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 reinvent 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. With people who are different than you. Remember, it's not enough just to be tolerant. Be accepting.

5. Connect

Social media, group chats 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, and get out and explore the city. 

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, 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

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."