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Top Ten for Your Community College Career Win!

  1.       “Begin with the end in mind.” A quote by Stephen Covey, the author of bestselling self-help book, The 7 habits of highly effective people. Covey lists, as one of the habits of the most successful people, the ability to see beyond the immediate task at hand and realize what is the overall goal of what you are trying to accomplish. As most students who attend Georgia Perimeter College plan to matriculate to a four year institution and/or find employment after graduation in their respective fields, keeping in mind the goal of what you’re trying to accomplish with your college degree will help you create, and guide the strategy you need to succeed.
  2. “Life will be an obstacle to academic success.” Given that the average Community College student is above the age of 25, and it’s his or her second or third college that he/she has attended, most of the GPC student body has had life experience outside of just living at home with their parents; some students like myself, are parents. The balance between being academically competitive and having time for your family, friends and significant other, will put a strain on anyone.  So you have to find a balance between them that works for you. For example, Georgia Perimeter College has many functions like homecoming and award ceremonies that you can bring family and friends to.
  3.       “FAFSA: A blessing and a curse.” Given that the average cost of tuition has increased nationwide anywhere between 3 and 9 percent, one of the biggest ‘hidden costs’ of attending college is price you pay. Fortunately, Georgia Perimeter College has one of the most affordable tuition for in-state students. But on the other hand, given that you as a student have access to thousands of dollars for attending college, you should really think about alternative ways to supplement and/or outright pay for college for free. My advice is to take advantage of all of the scholarships and grants that are available for academically competitive students. GPC Foundation has scholarships available for every semester, even in the Summer. Also, you can search online for organizations that pay for tuition based on need, ethnic/cultural background, academic excellence and Major.
  4.      “When failing to plan, you plan to Fail.”  You will notice that the same person who has a brand new pair of $250 Jordan’s  the day after they release FAFSA  money from the school, will still be asking people for paper and a pencil and to copy last week’s homework which is due on that day. Do not be that person. Don’t wait until the last minute to purchase any books or supplies needed for your classes. It would behoove you to purchase your books BEFORE class starts, especially the ones that pertain to your specific major, since they will be your reference books into the future. Most of your classes have a grace period of up to two weeks before your actually need to purchase a book for your class.
  5.       “Take care of your health.” Georgia Perimeter College built into your student tuition a health fee, this pays for the GPC Student Health Center services to students. Become familiar with these services. I believe that midterms, and especially finals, cause a lot of physical and mental stress for the average student. Not getting enough sleep, not eating right and not treating your body right can, and will, affect your performance in school. Don’t let a late night of hanging with your friends the day before the “Big Test,” kill your GPA. Make sacrifices now in order to reap the benefits in the future.
  6.       “Toxic People, Toxic relationships.” I cannot reiterate this fact enough. Who you choose to associate yourself with, and the environment you choose to be around, can have detrimental affects on your success as a college student, and as a human being in general. Do not let a girlfriend or boyfriend or a family member jeopardize your chance at success in life. Sometimes the people that are supposed to love you the most and protect you, are the ones you have to distance yourself from.
  7.       “I think, ergo I am.” This is YOUR TIME! You have the power to change yourself from who you were to who you want to be. If you go to the GPC website, and access GPC SUCCESS stories, you will see the varied backgrounds, trials and tribulations, and the struggles that your peers have faced in their lives and overcame. Each student enrolled now is a success story in the making.
  8.      “Balance your budget.” I cannot stress the fact enough, MONEY!  MONEY! MONEY! , If you do not learn how to control yourself with the very nice infusion of cash that you will receive almost every semester, you will find yourself not just worried about your grades, but your debt and expenses. Live like a College student during college, so you don’t have to live like one after.
  9.       “Breathe.” It is easy to get ‘caught up’ in all things COLLEGE. Deadlines, volunteer work, programs and the like will drain you faster than I don’t know what. Find a balance where your getting things done and you’re not burning yourself out.
  10.   “ HAVE FUN.” Don’t forget to have fun. You’re in College, enjoy it.

About Ugochukwu Paul Ossai

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