All of the techniques, all of our suggestions will be useless unless you make an honest commitment to living the life of a college student. Attitude and commitment can bounce you out of bed on a cold winter morning for an 8:00 AM class; the absence of these two qualities allows you to roll over for another four hours of sleep and miss your 8:00 AM class—and maybe your 9:30 as well. Scholars of success have verified what we all already know - that those activities to which we devote our time, our energy, and our enthusiasm are those that we do well in. If you love the flute and practice playing the flute for hours each day, chances are you'll become a pretty decent flute player. But if the flute sits on the side of your desk gathering dust, it's for sure you're not tooting in the all-district band. So it's not just talent, not just brains; it's commitment supported by time, energy, and enthusiasm. And it applies to your Common Core class, your Seminar class, your Chem lab, and all your other studies.

Starting now - not next week, not after your first weekend, not after you’ve gotten your room organized - now, your life has to revolve around your primary responsibility as a college student; your focus has to be on the academic life that you've signed on for. I know you have other demands (jobs, etc.) and other interests (friends, sports, activities, even just plain fun), but your real purpose - for which someone is probably paying a sizable amount of tuition - is your studies. So your time outside of class has to be planned and prioritized accordingly. Anything that interferes with or hampers your effectiveness as a student needs to be curtailed--sometimes even eliminated. Speaking straight-out--if you are not spending a substantial amount of your time on your studies, you are going about things in the wrong way. So let's begin by examining our priorities and affirming our commitment to learning. It’s an absolutely essential first step.  After all, it's why we're all here.