Manley: Tips for a successful semester

Published 10:25 am Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Welcome to the fall 2018 semester.

Part of being successful in college is thinking in a new way.

Several students lack the soft skills — personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people — needed to succeed in their classes.

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Here are some tips from US News and World Report.


Your college classes are designed, on purpose, to begin the problem-solving process.

Most instructors will give you some information, but it is your responsibility to take it to the next level.

You must use prior learning to evaluate problems and find creative solutions.

Communication and interpersonal skills

Do you know how to have a conversation with someone without looking at your smartphone?

You need to be able to disconnect for a period to actively listen, make eye contact and ask relevant questions.

Discussion based learning in the classroom or discussion posts online help increase the way you communicate and learn.

Time management

Always be prepared.

Think about what is your next move, and never procrastinate.

Being successful in college means not working on homework the night before the exam or reading the material at the last minute.

Think about all you need to accomplish at school, home and work, and make out a weekly plan.

The more you can tackle homework and chores upfront, the more successful you will be.


You need to be able to work well with others, especially those who you may not know well such as your fellow students in your classes.

Instructors will design projects and group work to increase your collaboration skills.

Of course, several other factors make college students successful, but these soft skills are a good start.

And guess what?

Employers are looking for these same skills as well. Imagine that.

Bruce Manley is campus director of Bluegrass Community and Technical College in Winchester.