10 Tips for College Freshman Success

In my former life before joining the St. Louis Community Foundation family, I grew my knowledge base in financial aid counseling, financial literacy, college access and college success through my work as a college admissions counselor and serving as director of a federally funded TRIO Student Support Services program.

My areas of expertise include college financing and increasing retention and graduation rates (particularly of underrepresented populations).  Having the belief that knowledge is not to be held onto, but rather to be shared, I offer to you “10 Tips for College Freshmen Success”.

Many think graduating from high school is “crossing the finish line”.  While it is a monumental accomplishment…it’s only the beginning. Your college years will be some of the most defining for you. If you are willing to be uncomfortable and be open to new experiences, step out of your comfort zone, and fully engage in the college experience you will find yourself growing both personally and professionally.  Remember the magic happens outside of your comfort zone so be courageous and say “Yes” even if its scary…it’s worth it!

Finally, I’ll leave you with a few lessons I learned as a college student:

  1. Have friends who don’t look like you.
  2. Introduce yourself to your teachers and let them know your intention to do well in class.
  3. Approach classes not with the intent to get an “A”, but to gain a full and thorough understanding of the material.
  4. Get a tutor as soon as you step on campus…even the best athletes have coaches.
  5. Your success or failure will not be determined by one good or one bad grade, but by your consistency of good or bad grades.
  6. Take care of your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health.
  7. You can’t help and pour into others if your well is empty. Rest, refuel, and reset when necessary.
  8. Manage your time and energy. Hard work is often easy work we didn’t do at the appropriate time. Prioritize!
  9. Learn to say no without feeling the need to explain.
  10. Ask for help when you need it.  Don’t let your pride choke your success.

Tameka Herrion is the Scholarship Manager and administers the Foundation’s scholarship funds and leads the Annual Scholarship Reception. Click here to read about this year’s event.