College life is an exciting time that is full of adventure and various learning opportunities. The college arena can also be intimidating for some individuals as there is much preparation involved in becoming a successful student. With this in mind, there are few things students can do to enhance student development and success.

Become a Self-Expert

Be the best you that you can be. Nobody can beat you being you. Discovering your best self is critical in becoming a successful student. According to the scriptural verses, Genesis 1:26-27, God created man in the image and likeness of Him. Knowing who you are in God will help you become what God created you to be. Knowing your purpose, strengths, weaknesses, likes/dislikes, what drives you, what motivates you, what makes you tick, will help improve your personal development.

Determine Your “Why”

Having a good, solid “why” will help you identify your purpose for pursuing your education.  Knowing the reason why you chose to attend college will help you establish a clear direction for your life. While in my graduate program, I knew why I was in college-to acquire a desired position that required a master’s degree. In order for me to apply for the position, I had to have a graduate degree. To help you pinpoint your objective, ask yourself questions such as “Why do I want to go to college?” and “What do I really want out of life?” and “What am I passionate about?” These questions will help guide you to the path of your purpose.

Set Goals

Goal-setting is critical in life.  If you do not establish goals, there will not be much direction to guide your life. Setting goals help you stay on track. Use the “SMART” acronym to set goals.  Be sure your goals are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

A good example of a SMART goal is, “I plan to achieve an ‘A’ in English composition in my first semester of college.”

Manage Time

Managing your time is critical as student. Often times, students have a full-time class schedule along with extracurricular activities. It is crucial to plan your day in order to stay on task. Maximize every minute of the day. Plan your study time. Identify a time that is best for you to study and stick to it. If you are an early bird, perhaps studying early in the morning prior to class will work best for you. If you are a night owl, studying late at night would be best. Nevertheless, being consistent and persistent with your studies is necessary for student success.

Effective Study Skills

Pick the best time of day for you to study and write it down. Writing down your study-time will help you hold yourself accountable to your study schedule. Select a study area that is comfortable for you and set it up specifically for your studies. In addition, develop your writing skills by utilizing resources such as tutoring, writing workshops, and websites such as and There will be a number of papers and essays to write throughout your college career, so it is imperative to establish solid writing skills. This is also beneficial in your personal life as effective communication is a necessary skill overall. Connecting with other students to form a study group or having a study partner will also improve your study skills.

The truth of the matter is that college life is not easy and it is inevitable that obstacles will arise, whether it be personal, financial, or academic. Something may happen to throw you off course and hinder you from your studies. Nonetheless, have the spirit of a finisher and a made up mind to accomplish your educational goals. Have a resolve to do whatever it takes to achieve your degree. Envision yourself walking across the stage to receive your diploma on graduation day. See it, believe it, and receive it!

UMHB strives to not only equip students with an education for life, but also to give every student the experience of a lifetime. We invite you to check out our website for more information, or stop by for a visit to see why UMHB would be a great fit for you!