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Dr. Marcia Cantarella Shares Secrets to College Success

On July 7th, Futures and Options hosted Dr. Marcia Cantarella, author of I CAN Finish College: The Overcome Any Obstacle and Get Your Degree Guide, who spoke with more than 45 of our interns about something that is definitely on their mind: college.

Dr. Cantarella, who has held positions as Associate Dean at Hunter College, a Dean at Princeton University, part of the Dean's staff at New York University's College of Arts and Science, and Vice President of Student Affairs at Metropolitan College of New York, offered her expert advice on overcoming obstacles to college success by asking questions, taking advantage of on-campus resources, building relationships with peers and professors, and staying on top of academics.

Below are just some of her tips – for more, check out her blog on the Huffington Post or purchase I CAN Finish College.

  • Choose a major that engages you. If you have zero interest in what you are studying and working toward, you won't be as motivated to succeed.
  • Get to know your professors. Start by asking questions in class, or stopping by during office hours. Not only will it help you academically, but establishing that relationship can expand your network. You might even be able to use that person as a reference!
  • Take advantages of on-campus resources like academic tutors and writing centers. 80% of students who use these resources have GPAs over 3.0.
  • You don't need to read every word of every book assigned to you. Learn how to read strategically and comprehend the points that the author is trying to make.
  • Continue to pursue work experience through internships or work study. You'll learn transferable resume skills, while building a network for the future.
  • Stay organized - your planner is your best friend and will help you manage your time and prioritize.
  • Get involved in extracurricular activities! Participating in clubs, especially in leadership roles, makes your resume stand out to employers.
  • Hang with people who have intellectual energy, and talk about your excitement about learning. Good grades follow passion.

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