Don’t Be Another Community College Dropout! Part III


Make the School a Place You Want to Be

Read part two here.

+ Join Clubs or Sports

Your community college will have a large and diverse community of students with a variety of interests.  Community college campuses often have a plethora of clubs and sports available that would dwarf most high school options.  There will be something that you are interested in could benefit from, or would just be fun.

Find some group or organization to join that you will enjoy.  This will get you on campus more often, and it will make the campus feel like a friendlier and more familiar place.  You’ll get to know more people, be comfortable in more places, and overall have a more positive feeling and experience.

Being involved on campus will make you less likely to quit.  You’ll have more ties to the school and a larger network to keep you motivated every week.

+ Make Friends

This is one of the more generic and common tips in this post, but it is worth repeating and supporting.  Making new friends on campus and in your classes is one of the best ways to support your college success and avoid the drop-out risk.  Friends in your major or more difficult classes can support you and add a sense of comradery to your struggles.

College can be a difficult process on your own.  Friends and family can be a big help, but they aren’t always at the same school as you or taking the same classes.  It is tougher for them to relate and support you than it is for your fellow classmates.  Your classmates can also help you study and add some extra accountability that we talked about in part one.

If you struggle making friends in class, then you should refer to the tip above and focus on finding some campus group to join.  It will be easier to find new friends in a social environment rather than an academic one.  The more connections you have to campus, the less likely you are to give up and drop it all.

+ Reward Yourself

Give yourself any kind of positive motivation you can for doing well in your studies.  It could be for completing an assignment early, getting a good grade, making progress on a project or paper, going to your teacher’s office hours, or any other number of positive tasks.  Reward yourself in whatever way works best for you.

When self-positive reinforcement is suggested, students often have a difficult time knowing what to use to reward themselves.  If you are also unsure of what you could use, consider this tactic: see what you do in your free time when you’re on your own.  Do you go somewhere specific?  Watch tv or play video games?  Play on your phone or read a book?  It doesn’t matter what it is, what matters is that you are choosing to do it in your spare time and must be enjoying it.

Take that activity and use it as your reward.  When you get home or have free time, withhold doing that activity until you’ve made some progress in your work.  Once you have made progress, you can reward yourself – even if it’s something minor or simple.  This reinforcement might seem silly or childish, but it can make a large impact helping you feel positive about your studies and continue to make progress.

Community colleges are a terrific resource for continuing your education.  The biggest downside to a local community school is the higher risk of failure or dropping out.  You should know this going in.  If you know the reasons why many students drop out, and if you follow some of the tips here, you will be able to stick to your program and find success on your educational journey.

Michael C. is currently a private math, science, and standardized test tutor with TutorNerds in Irvine and Anaheim.

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