Whatever your graduation goals and whatever your career plans, there are certain tried-and-true ways to get more out of your college experience so that your future is a go once you put on that cap and gown.

Here are some effective tips on getting to graduation.

Connect with Your Academic Advisor

One of the best ways you can set yourself up for graduation success, particularly when you’re a first- or second-year student, is to make use of what your academic advisor offers. You’re unlikely to find a better source of information on valuable resources, mentorship and how to succeed in your particular major than your academic advisor. Check their office hours and set up regular times each semester to catch up and obtain valuable advice.

Get to Know Your Professors

Speaking of office hours, the individuals who lead the classrooms you visit day after day are also available outside the classroom. Each professor should have office hours listed on the syllabus or posted by the doorway. They’re there for a reason. Take advantage of opportunities to walk through something you misunderstood during class or a lecture subject you wanted to explore further. Speaking with them one-on-one can help you improve, better understand the material and more fully experience the subject matter.

Lean on Your Learning Community

One of the strongest tools at your disposal in making your path to graduation a smooth one is to rely on the people around you who are in similar educational situations. Your classmates and your study groups are your learning communities, and they can help you cross the finish line in good academic standing. You can even take it a step further by using an additional SDSU learning tool—tutoring. If you want some hands-on, one-on-one academic support, try out the Wintrode Student Success Center.

Stay Hands-On

Never miss an opportunity to get experience in your area of study. This could include internships, job shadows, courses with lab elements (for you science majors) or even field trips and tours of relevant workplaces or facilities. Learning through experience is one of the most powerful ways you can improve your academic experience. Taking your academics to the next level can also take the form of honors courses—find out more about the honors programs that SDSU offers here.

Get Involved

Make your mark on campus—getting involved in student groups and organizations that truly interest you can help you see things from new perspectives and can often enhance your classroom learning. Plus, finding new interests might inform your major-selection process if you discover something you never knew you were good at or had interest in.
The Guide to Surviving your Freshman Year (Free E-Book)