Top 10 Rockford Career College Student Survival Tips

Students mingling at RCC May Student Orientation Top 10 Rockford Career College Student Survival Tips
DATE On May 23, 2016

Dear RCC Students,
I know first hand that college is not easy, especially when you might have a job, family, and/or personal situations that also need your time commitments.   Throughout my years working and leading campuses, and student bodies, I have been able to come up with some good ideas that will you help you be successful!
Now as RCC heads into a new era of quicker, shorter, career-focused training programs let me share some of these tips. Your decisions about education are the probably the 3rd or 4th biggest decisions of your life, and investing in your education is the one investments you will make in your life that will continue to pay off in a positive way if you play your cards right. So here are some of these ideas:
1. Be Present:   Showing up to class is half the battle!  If you are in class on a daily basis, you have an opportunity to learn.
2. Participate:  Ask questions, ask for help, and actively participate in class discussions.   If you are not getting something, don’t let your pride interfere.   Ask for help.   Participate and stay involved for every minute of the class period.  Put your phone away, clear your mind, and focus on the immediate task at hand, your class or your assignment. 
3. Expand Your Comfort Zone:   Push yourself and let yourself escape your own comfort zone.   Once you expand your comfort zone, learning is limitless.  Expanding your comfort zone will be personally and professionally rewarding.  You will find out how much more you are capable of and you will develop a stronger sense of self-confidence.   Believe in yourself!
4. Get Involved:  Get involved with different activities around the campus, volunteer, join student association.  The more involved you are, the more you comfortable and confident you can become!
5. Work Hard:  Hard work does pay off, you have to earn your opportunities and you need to earn your way through your education at RCC.   Our programs are fast moving with most classes meeting 4-5 times per week.
6. Don’t Quit & Know Your Support System: Sometimes the easy thing to do is to quit.  Don’t.   What are you motivators for wanting to acquire education?  Write them and keep them close so as to remind you.   Talk to a friend, spouse, or family member before you start and ask them to push you and not let quit no matter how hard it gets.
7. Make Friends:  Get to know people on-campus.  Make new friends and form a buddy system.   Having friends to share ideas with, study with, and work with will help make your learning experience more enjoyable.
8. Treat Your Education like a Job Interview / Build Your Resume as You Go:   Your education is your investment in yourself.   Treat your education as a golden opportunity to redefine yourself.   By surviving school and graduating with a diploma or degree you are adding value to your resume.   If you can achieve high honors, faculty recommendations, or be involved in volunteer opportunities on the campus, these are the things that really help make your resume stand out.   Build and add to your resume after each term, listing out the accomplishments and/or the accolades.  Also add any professional achievements like a passing certification test or list any volunteering you did as a student.  By continuously building your student profile while in school, you can see the progress and it will help to keep you motivated.
9. Have Fun:  Life is too short not have a little fun.  Through the hard work of earning your education, remember to take some time to enjoy the experience and life.
10. Smile Often: Smiling has many benefits according to some science.    Smiling can reduce your blood pressure, and can help you stay healthy and smiling can help reduce your stress. 

Author: Michael O’Herron been the campus president at RCC since January 2015. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 1999, Michael started his career in higher education. Michael believes in the power of education and that an education can be empowering and life-changing.  As an adult student, Michael, in 1996, nearly five years removed from high school, decided it was time to pursue his education after working low-paying job after low-paying job. He knows the struggles and challenges first-hand that many working adults encounter on the road to completing their education. Michael has been in campus leadership roles for nearly 10 years and he is extremely proud to represent RCC as it in its 154th year of operations. In his spare time, Michael is very involved with his family. Coaching softball, basketball, and he is certified Illinois High School Football Varsity Football Official.