How to use this guide for self-study

Student with headphones sitting at a table with a laptop.
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Dear student,

We are so glad you found (or were recommended) this Guide. We hope you will find ideas and advice that will help you adjust to the demands of college life and will help you be both successful and independent in your learning.

If you are using this guide for personal study outside of a course, you can take two pathways through this material:

  1. You can certainly start reading from the beginning and continue right through the end. Of course, we think everything in this Guide is useful and thrilling.
  2. OR you can start by scanning the Contents list with a critical eye. Consider your current state of skills, attitudes and behaviours and use the Content list as a check list. Do you already do the things that successful students do? If so, you can take that as a confirmation that you are on the right track. If not, or if not enough, slow down and read that section or subsection. Once you are aware of what is within this Guide, you can come back and read or re-read a section when you need a new idea or a reminder.

Regardless of the path you take, we recommend that you don’t try to do it all at once. Choose one or two sections to focus on at a time. For example, if you are a new student scan through the sections of Successful Students Have Goals and Take Responsibility. Knowing how college fits into your overall plans can help you frame your college experience in a more positive way and understanding your responsibilities for your education will ease the culture shock that some students experience in a new learning environment. After you have attended a few classes, you can come back and look at Successful Students Get It Together and Learn Independently to add some time management and study skills to your student tool belt. Later, do a check of your health: body, mind and wallet! And don’t forget the social aspects of college!

We believe this Guide will be useful throughout your college career and we hope you will agree!

If you have suggestions for improvements or inclusions, email with “A Guide for Successful Students” in the subject line. We would love to hear from you!

All the best,

Irene and Aaron


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A Guide for Successful Students Copyright © 2019 by St. Clair College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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