Five resolutions to succeed in college

Many college students spent their winter break with friends and family, and are returning to campus more committed and energized. But far too many others are not. Unsuccessful students may be contemplating taking a break from school or dropping out altogether.

Academic ability, while important, is only part of the picture when it comes to being successful in college. Jasmine Stirling, chief marketing officer at InsideTrack, which offers technology-enabled student coaching services, suggests five resolutions to help any college student be more successful.

5. Be passionate

The very best thing you can do to ensure your success in college is to clarify why you’re there and dedicate yourself to studying something that you’re passionate about. Set aside time each week in the first year of college to explore the right area of study for you and to understand potential career paths.

Our coaches often work with students to develop a methodical plan for making these critical decisions. They encourage students to sit in on classes that they might find interesting, set up opportunities to shadow people in careers they may not have considered, and speak with professors about their fields.

Many students are surprised at what they find, and are able to make changes about study and career paths early on, which would have been expensive, time-consuming, and risky for them to reverse later. Studies show that clarity of purpose and passion are the best indicators of success in college.

Jasmine Stirling is Chief Marketing Officer at InsideTrack, which offers technology-enabled student coaching services. InsideTrack increases college graduation rates by 15 percent at universities nationwide.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

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