The Secret to Success is Simpler Than You Think!

Angela Stoner is a retail veteran with over ten years experience in retail sales, management, marketing and merchandising. She fell in love with marketing after she learned how media and merchandising facilitated higher sales and more satisfied customers. She lives in Los Angeles, California, where she currently works as a freelance writer and marketing manager.

My advice is going to sound like a no-brainer, but I really believe it’s the best advice I can give anyone starting out her college career. The big secret to success is so obvious that many students miss it, thinking that can’t be all there is to it. Sometimes we forgot the most obvious things when we’re starting out somewhere new. College can be exciting  – there are so many distractions! – And one might forget to do something so simple, something that can dramatically impact your success in college.


What is this simple secret? Whatever the professor tells you to do.. DO IT. It’s that simple. If they tell you that the best students typically sit in the front of the class, where do you think you should rush to at the beginning of the lecture? If they tell you that the next quiz will be on the reading, then you better really focus on that reading. If they give you an outline for a paper, follow that outline! Chances are your professors will give you obvious – and not so obvious – clues about what they expect from you, almost all you have to do is pay attention and follow! One professor gave me a great tip on short answer questions on a paper or test: She advised me to simply write as much as I possibly could on the subject, and chances were I would stumble upon what my professor was looking for! By getting this simple tip and understanding what she looked for when grading, I was able to apply it to all my classes. My test scores rose dramatically because it of – and all I did was take her advice.


I had another experience with this concept that really exemplified how well this works. My history professor offered extra credit if we attended a series of workshops on the topic of “How to be an A Student”. Sounds helpful, right? Sure enough, these four lectures were packed full of goodies. And the best application for these lessons? Right in the class whose professor had urged us to attend them! Her grading favored those who followed the rules and concepts in those lectures – all I had to do was apply what I learned from them and I had a leg up on the students who were too lazy to attend.


So many students will simply not take the time to listen to their professors. They don’t realize the professors are on their side – they want you to do well! By listening to their advice and doing your best to follow their specifications, you will benefit from their “insider information” and translate those tips into excellent grades!


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