University College

Skills for Success

Time Management

One of the most important skills to learn when coming to college is time management. Many students find that they have multiple responsibilities in addition to a full time course load. Many students on the IU East campus are juggling work, school, community engagements, and families. With a little organization it is possible to get everything accomplished. Using a time management calendar will help you to lay out your day and see where you may have extra time to work on homework. Time management will help you set up your priorities and help you make conscious choices about what you do with your time. For additional information on effective time management, view this handout.

Goal Setting

Success is not success unless you take into consideration all aspects of your life; professional obligations, financesl, family, socia lifel, health, and so on. You must have a long-term 'big picture' goal but break it down into several short-term goals. Writing out these goals is the only way to achieve them, otherwise, they are merely hopes or desires. To think critically about what you want to achiev,e you may use the S.M.A.R.T. method of goal setting. Following these steps will allow you to visualize your goals and actively achieve them.

S - "specific" - a goal should include who, what, when, where, which, & why

M - "measurable" - how many, how much, how will I know when my goal is accomplished?

A - "attainable" - are your skills, abilities, and finances capable of meeting the needs to reach your goal?

R - "realistic" - are you both willing and able to work toward completion of your stated goal? Is it too high or not high enough?

T - "tangible" - can you experience or sense it?

Note Taking

Keeping good notes is vital to your success in college. Each student has their own method of note taking but some are better than others. Below is a list of informational websites that provide many different note taking tips. It is important to keep in mind that the most important part of note taking is class attendance! Being present and interested in learning will help you stay focused during class. Come to class prepared having read the required readings so you are able to ask questions. While note taking, remember to date each page, this will allow you to flip back to each section with little hassle while studying. Please visit the following links to learn more about note taking and which style works best for you.

Ohio University Steps to Note Taking

Dartmouth Lecture Note Taking

Online Study Help Resources

Stress Management

Stress effects most people at one point or another and often students get overwhelmed by the amount of work expected in college. While juggling a hectic schedule with family, kids, classes, and work; it is important to take time to yourself. Saying 'No' is not always a bad thing! Saying yes to requests may add unnecessary stress to your already full load. Sometimes students struggle to find the cause of their stress and a stress journal is used to document and highlight the amount of work you have on your plate. It will allow you to write out your feelings and get an idea of what may be bringing you down the most. Sometimes the stressor you think is the most prominent is actually one that can be completely eliminated.


Developing a budget before classes start and making a commitment to following through, can be a major stress reliever during the semester. Many students rely on part-time jobs and their student loan money to support them throughout the year. Due to the many expenses that come with attending college, creating a budget can help you ensure that you do not run out of money before the end of the semester. Think about your total income for the semester and divide it up among each month. Creating a budget will save yourself from unnecessary stress while trying to complete your classes. Try using a budget worksheet to plan out how you will spend your money this year