By Paul Culp, MA (Oxon.), CFT, GCDF, CCSP

We at The Coaching Educator pride ourselves on our ability to simplify that which is complex. That’s a large part of what we do for our student/clients and their families. As we consider things that trip people up in college, we find that most of the remedies are very basic, though they usually require honesty with oneself and a good dollop of self-discipline. In this commandment for college success, we address one of the leading causes of freshman woes—but it’s a phenomenon not confined to collegiate neophytes.

The Third Commandment for College Success: 

Thou shalt pace thyself and not over-commit.

College presents students with highly anticipated new opportunities for clubs and other officially sanctioned extracurricular activities, new friendships, and the social whirl. For many, especially freshmen, college life looms like a feast placed before a man who has been starving or who at least thinks he has been. The resultant problems can be especially acute for freshmen, who binge on the new opportunities without having a clear idea of what is expected of them academically and how they need to manage their time in order to achieve it. As we noted in More Than Half of American College Students Leave Without a Degree. Here’s Why, time-management is the number-one challenge for freshmen, who essentially have no idea what they’re doing.

A surprising number of students never fully master the art of time stewardship, and their day-to-day lives are a chaos of moving parts, like untethered tools and food containers floating about in the weightless environment of an orbiting spaceship—until an exam or paper or other academic crisis abruptly restores gravity and brings the whole mess clattering down to earth.

None of this is conducive to strong academic performance. Chances are you won’t be able to do everything you want to do. Students should work out at least a rudimentary budget for time outlay, choose a limited number of activities that fit within that budget, and learn how to say no.

That’s your Third Commandment for College Success. Take a look at the first two, and stay with us for the remainder.

Getting into the college of your choice and finding the wherewithal to pay for it is wonderful. That’s what The Coaching Educator is here to help you do. But that’s not the only reason we’re here. We also try to be expert in all things related to college success, and to pass that knowledge on to our student/clients and our readers. The quest for college success begins with the college search process and continues until you take your diploma and shake hands with the president.

To learn more about our philosophy and capabilities, be sure to watch our free webinars, listen to our podcasts, sign up for our four-week College App Boot Camp, consider our Ultimate Programs and our special services for athletes and performing-arts students, and book a consultation to hear what we can do for you and how we do it. Keep reading this blog, and look for us on social media (see links below) as we keep our clients and admirers advised of new developments in our effort to help students get into and succeed at the right school.

Paul Culp is certified as a global career development facilitator and writes about college admissions, college costs, financial aid, and college life in general for The Coaching Educator team. A former journalist and corporate ghostwriter who now operates Shenandoah Proofreading, Editing & Composition Services (SPECS), he has also been a humanities teacher at all levels from university down to sixth grade. Paul has degrees from Oxford University, Jacksonville State University, and Samford University, and also is certified as a fitness trainer.

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Recommended Reading About College Success

Culp, Paul. “Beyond Tuition, Fees, and Books: The Other Costs of College,” The Coaching Educator, 7 June 2018, http://tce.local/2018/06/07/beyond-tuition-fees-and-books-the-other-costs-of-college/

Culp, Paul.”Getting to Grips With Test Anxiety,” The Coaching Educator, 28 November 2018, http://tce.local/2018/11/28/getting-to-grips-with-test-anxiety/

Culp, Paul. “More Than Half of American College Students Leave Without a Degree. Here’s Why,” The Coaching Educator, 8 September 2018, http://tce.local/2018/09/08/more-than-half-of-american-college-students-leave-without-a-degree-heres-why/

Culp, Paul “The Myth and Madness of Multitasking,” The Coaching Educator, 18 November 2018, http://tce.local/2018/11/18/the-myth-and-madness-of-multitasking/

Culp, Paul. “The Prez, the Prov, the Profs, the Veep, and the Redge: Who’s Who on Campus,” The Coaching Educator, 17 December 2018, http://tce.local/2018/12/17/the-prez-the-prov-the-profs-the-veeps-and-the-redge-whos-who-on-campus/

Culp, Paul. “Remedial Nation: The Ghastly State of College Preparedness,” The Coaching Educator, 19 January 2019, http://tce.local/2019/01/19/remedial-nation-the-ghastly-state-of-college-preparedness/

Culp, Paul. “These Go to Eleven: Our All-Star Lineup of College Illnesses,” The Coaching Educator, 19 October 2019, http://tce.local/2018/10/09/these-go-to-eleven-our-all-star-lineup-of-college-illnesses/

Culp, Paul. “What the Cap and Gown Mean and Why They Matter,” The Coaching Educator, 21 December 2018, http://tce.local/2018/12/21/what-the-cap-and-gown-mean-and-why-they-matter/

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