1. Meet with each of your teachers during office hours at least once in the beginning of semester. Introduce yourself, show them you care, ask them a question or two. You would be shocked how much this can help. I think I only went twice in college (some Ivy Leaguer). Once my grade was pumped up 10 points and once I was given an opportunity to do extra credit which bumped me up two grades. How foolish to only go twice!
2. Do your reading before the class. This has been given by more than one good person as a key to college success. Most won't dare to do it. If you want to be extraordinary do it and you will create separation between you and the student next to you.
3. Don't forget your Faith. College is a time where you can easily stray from your faith, morals and values. Before you go any further, write down your beliefs and values. What are you going to do on a regular to reaffirm these values and beliefs? Go to church each week, get involved in campus ministry, visit your Newman Center, get involved with Athletes in Action or FCA. It's up to you, but do something! Otherwise your foundation will weaken and morals will soften.
4. Make friends with people outside of the team. It is a great advantage to be a part of the team and have friends going in, but sometimes it's refreshing to hang out with people who don't know about wrestling and who don't care! It is a good break mentally, and will open up new connections now and down the road.
5. Don't shoot for a normal college experience, aim higher. I hear all the time from students and wrestlers, "Well I don't want to miss out on the normal college experience." They even have an acronym for it nowadays- FOMO (Fear of Missing out). Why have a normal college experience when you can have an extraordinary college experience kicking butt on the mat and in the classroom. Aim higher!
6. Set academic, career and personal goals. Most college wrestlers set goals for themselves on the mat. Few set goals in the classroom and in life. My dad used to tell me "Don't just be an All American, be an Academic All American." See the goals, create an action plan, follow it, and achieve greatness. See it, Believe it, Achieve it!
BONUS TIP: For those really looking to get organized, be held accountable by a coach and learn new ways to grow mentally in school and wrestling email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. We have a new HS and College Academic Timeline for our members.
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