University of Houston-Victoria


Pre-College Tips

What will it take for you to succeed in college? As with all things in life, nothing is guaranteed. The decisions you make through preparation and discipline, will result in some level of success. Listed below are four common areas of the college experience where students often struggle.


If you are the type of person who struggles with failure; assumes someone else will do the "job"; or deflects blame on others, then now is the time to start making some personal changes in life. College is going to test you beyond the classroom. Decisions that (might) have been made for you at home, now, are your sole responsibility. Even the most basic functions in life (e.g. showing up to class on time), can be hard for new students to manage.

Financial Planning

Paying for a college education can be intimidating. Not only do you have to figure out how to navigate the financial aid process, you will also need to learn how to live on a budget. We can help you apply for financial aid; we cannot tell you how to manage your money. In the end, what you spend your money on is your decision. If you do struggle with money management, keep these tips in mind:

  • Save first...spend later
  • Put money aside for emergencies
  • Do not make emotional money decisions
  • Live within your means (aka do not spend more than what you can afford)

Social Life

  • Campus involvement - getting involved on campus is a crucial step towards your success. Find a club (or start one on your own), show up to Student Life events, or take part in intramural sports. Your college experience will be much more fulfilling.
  • Getting out of your comfort zone - the old saying "There is no growth in the comfort zone" directly applies to college life. Get out of your dorm room. Meet new people. Try different experiences!
  • Living away from home - homesickness is normal. The feeling of being alone, living in a new place, surrounded by unfamiliar faces can be stressful. That is okay! Expect it. Remember, every other new student might be feeling the EXACT same way you are. The solution: see the two bullet points above!
  • Making productive decisions - as a college student, you are now (by default) an adult...even if it doesn't feel like! What this means is that you are 100% responsible for every decision made. Will you have more freedom in college? Yes! Will more freedom require more personal responsibility? Yes...even more so.

Time Management

College life demands some level of structure. When it comes to managing your time, there are two distinct components which will make your life easier...or difficult. Preparation and Procrastination.

Preparation. Do you have your assignments listed for the semester? Are you allowing enough time in your day to study? Have you prepared in case plans do not go?

Procrastination is THE number one habit college students make. Why? Because it is easy to not do something! Try your best to stay ahead of the game. Do your assignments as soon as possible.