A simple guide to college success

Hello guys! My name is Kristen Nguyen. I’m from Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam. I came to the United States four years ago as an exchange student at Mt. Vernon-Enola high school in Arkansas. After that, I decided to come back to Arkansas for college at Arkansas State University Beebe and then to the University of Central Arkansas. I have just graduated from the University of Central Arkansas in August with a Bachelor degree in Finance.
There was one thing I learned in freshman year from my Economics professor at Arkansas State University Beebe. This lesson has been and will continue to be the foundation that I choose to build my life around. My professor, the intelligent man that he was, used to say “The key to success is to make good use of all available resources.” I have never heard of anything so true.
This simple philosophy was derived from one problem in Economics, scarcity. There’s a limited amount of goods and services in this world. Hence, businessman/women and entrepreneurs have to figure out ways to transform available resources into useful products and services that can help them grow their businesses and excel in their professions. A simple example; human beings have been very successful in creating many ways to generate electricity from available natural resources such as water (hydroelectricity), uranium (nuclear energy), wind (wind power), etc.. A town in my country that has a big waterfall. This town could build a hydroelectric generator to take advantage of the water to generate electricity for its people since the town doesn’t have high-speed wind to power windmills nor a uranium source to build a nuclear plant.
But that’s something macro, let’s look at a smaller picture and see how this idea can be related to being academically successful in college.
As I went through three and a half years in college, I have spotted one problem that modern students seem to have in common. Students always complain that their classes and tests are just too hard, but when you look closely to the way these students learn and study, they don’t utilize the resources at their disposal.
An obvious resource and, to me, the best resource that universities and colleges have is the professors. Professors are experts on the subjects that they teach, so why not come to them when we are in doubt? Come on guys, just because they look serious and intimidating in class doesn’t mean that they will bite if you come to their offices to ask them questions. Believe me, they will appreciate it very much if you come to discuss the subject matter and ask questions because it shows them that you care and are serious about their classes. If you are sincere and are willing to learn, you can gain a great deal amount of extra knowledge from your professors. Don’t be afraid to look for your professors during their office hours and inquire about anything that you’re still not clear about pertaining to the subject. If you are willing to spend time and effort to value your professors, you will see big improvements in your grades and the knowledge that will be made available for you to carry into the world. Knowledge can, many times, be our most valuable and lifesaving resource. It makes sense to appreciate the people who provide us with this knowledge.
Textbooks are another valuable resource that are often underestimated and abandoned. Most students spend money to buy textbooks, but may never once open them. What a waste! When there was something I didn’t know, I always looked in the textbooks first, and I found my answers in there 95 percent of the time.
I graduated with a 4.0 GPA. I’m not saying this to show off or anything. This was my accomplishment, and I am proud of it. I did it successfully by making good use of all the resources that were available to me, and I never ever took them for granted. You can do the same thing too. Of course, you will also have to take into account your own efforts and time management in order to achieve this. However, the two physical resources that I discussed above are the ones that are already paid for when you enroll in a class, so please use them wisely.

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