#30DayChallenge: College Students Excel

Setting the stage for success in the first 30 days of the term

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The semester has just started—and this term will be just as good as last. Last term you were invited to join the honor society, so this term you’ve got to keep up your grades so you can stay in it.

Or perhaps you earned a C or two (ouch!) last semester, and now your parents are looking at you funny. Worse, you’re looking at yourself funny.

Whichever is the case for you, in this challenge, you’ll learn what you need to do to excel this semester by setting the stage for success in the term’s first 30 days.

I’m framing this series around the places on campus that you must familiarize yourself with to excel. Our first stop on campus? The bookstore and library.


Although some have questioned if the campus bookstore is becoming obsolete, I still recommend familiarizing yourself with its offerings, even if the chief reason is to know how deeply discounted the books are on Chegg or Amazon.

Even if you end up buying books online or renting them, it’s good to know what your campus bookstore has to offer. Some are competing directly with online retailers by offering rental and e-book options.

Your professor may also take advantage of open source books, which are free. So don’t dismiss your campus bookstore yet. Explore it well and talk to the staff to see if it has any affordable aids that could help you a­­ce the semester.

The Library

The library is probably the one place on campus that is most essential to your success as a student. I spoke with Grace Yamada, youth service librarian with the New York Public Library, to get her take.

“The library is the heart of scholarly life at any school,” Yamada says. “It collects resources both virtual and physical in one place and provides friendly experts to guide you in their use.”

Librarians are research experts and they are there to help—ask them!

Yamada continues. “The library has study space, subject experts, advanced databases, and tools that the school has invested in so its community can produce excellent research. Find out what unique services your school library offers, and take advantage of them!”

If your school offers a course in using the library, take it. It will give you an edge in all of your classes. That’s what you want this semester, right?