Dana Perino: Back to school: Five suggestions for college students who want to make the most of this year

Two things I love this time of year – that back to school feeling and sharing advice with students...so let’s get to it.

Here are five suggestions for the school year:

1. Go to class. I know you’ve heard that one before, but it’s the most important thing you can do. Show up and be present. Listen to the professor and the discussion. Don’t text your friends at the same time – it is rude and counterproductive. If the class can be recorded, listen to it again later so that the material can really soak into your brain.  When you actually pay attention, you retain a lot more information, save time on studying and do better on tests.

2. School is your job, so think of school as going to work. If you don’t go to class, and if you don’t study, you won’t be able to put food on the table (in the future). The money you or your parents are spending (or if you took out student loans to pay the tuition) all came from hard work. And your grades are your pay check – then when you graduate, you’ll already be in work mode and will land a good job.

3. Start saving now. I know students don’t have a lot of money to spare, but try getting into the habit of saving a few bucks here and there. You’ll be glad you did. You have a long life ahead of you, and everyone needs to start thinking about how to maximize their earnings, even by starting small, to help provide for themselves and their loved ones for the decades to come.

4. Go out – but just for a moment. Temptations to go to parties and to hang out with friends instead of studying are hard to resist. There can be a lot of pressure to show up to anything you’ve been invited to attend.  What do you do? I learned this from a former colleague and think it’s a great trick. To manage her time and her friendships, she would go to the party and work the room just once. A few hugs, a few pictures. Then she’d slip out the side door. She says no one ever wonders where she went, and she was able to manage her schedule much better.

5. Don’t wish the semester away, especially senior year. The phrase one day at a time is a great one – there’s no need to get ahead of yourself. You’ll be in the job market soon enough. Tap the brakes on your impatience. So many adults wish they could go back to school to learn. They really are on to something...trust me!

Have a great semester – I’ll check back in with you at the New Year.