No guarantees, but some rules do apply

Even superstars in high school can have a tough start at college when they exercise their freedom because their parents aren’t down the hall, in
the same city or sometimes even the same time-zone.

Kids who maybe weren’t as organized or motivated in high school will need extra effort once they, too, realize that no one is going to remind them to brush their teeth, much less start that 15-page research paper now that is due in two months and requires a lot of reading (and not on Wikipedia).

College is not all studying, and certainly not in coat and tie or a strand of pearls. Photo: London School of Economics, 1951

Malcom Gauld has taught high school for 35 years and has written a book called College Success Guaranteed: 5 Rules to Make It Happen,
(R&L Education, 2011). Guaranteed? Ha! Nothing is guaranteed — especially success in college — without effort and organization. I’ll forgive Mr.
Gauld the hyperbole because his five rules do apply to the college bound.

Rule #1: Go to Class!
Rule #2: Study 3 Hours Times 5 Days Per Week
Rule #3: Commit to Something
Rule #4: Get a Mentor
Rule #5: Procrastination Kills

Parents who graduated from college will the confirm the validity of the five rules, but your first-year college students who may at this moment be halfway through the clean laundry you sent him or her to school with may need a reminder. Maybe send them the book. Or just the five rules.

Rules 1,2 and 5 are the most useful and self explanatory.

Rule #3, according to Gauld, means getting involved with some group or project because college is a lot more than just lectures and papers.

Rule #4, according to Gauld, means finding someone with life experience who can provide guidance and encouragement, whether that be a professor, coach or dean. Wait, what? That sounds like a parent! But of course all that parental advice sinks in, finally, coming from someone else.

First-year college students want to have fun. Maybe that could be part of rule #6: Study as much as you play. — Dan Friedman


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