Making It in College

21st Century Student Success Website

Welcome to college student success! Have you wondered if you can make it in college? Whether you’re just starting out or have been a college student for awhile, we’re here to give you information and encouragement. is compiled and written by a college professor, Richard Leon Linfield, Ph.D., and a personal growth counselor, Leilani Darling, J.D., O.M. This team works together to fulfill their goals and mission of helping students learn the most important things available to them in college.

As a team, we help students be the best they can be while also making the best grades. This website includes the distillation of decades of our teaching and mentoring experience.

There is much information here, and you can come back many times. Just look for the information that’s best for your needs now. Dig into that! When you feel the need for more, come back again and again. We are constantly updating the site.

We’ll help you answer the following questions and many others:

  • What do you have going for you to support you?

  • How can you become free of anything that’s in your way?

  • What resources can you find to help you succeed in your quest?                                                                                                             

The first thing: To make it in college, you need an accurate picture of your capabilities. Some students have an overconfident view of themselves, and this can be a problem. Yet for most students the opposite is true: they have a wrongfully negative self-image, and don’t realize they are capable of far more than they may believe.  A realistic, creative student thinks about his or her positive abilities, and doesn’t exaggerate the negative. This realism is a major secret to college success.

The lessons and resources on this website can help you get a clear picture of what might stand in your way. Let’s consider what would support you to do the following:

  • Complete your courses with all A’s and B’s

  • Finish your degree or certificate

  • Advance yourself by transferring to your next college or university, or starting a great career  

  • Above all, to gain lasting personal benefits from your education.

Our goals include that you learn:

  • How and where to get help for personal and academic issues

  • How to revise and correct your own work

  • How to build realistic self-esteem

  • How to feel capable of successfully making your way in society

Here are some ways to begin finding the answers to these questions quickly.

To get help for personal issues: Don’t assume that your family is the first or best place to go for every type of help. The professional college counselors on your campus have seen issues like yours in other students many times. This helps a counselor accurately identify issues comparable to yours.

Also, campus health centers generally have emotional and mental health counselors on staff. Their input is confidential and tailored to your individual questions and needs.

Pharmaceutical solutions are often not as helpful as you’d like them to be. They should be a last resort and never a habit. Drugs cannot touch the roots of your problems, and can cause serious new issues. Also, it’s well known that habitual alcohol and psychoactive cannabis are not the best stress reducers. Science shows that they can damage your health and can even lower your IQ. As you know, a lower IQ is not very useful for college success.

For academic issues, see your academic counselor, or you might consult one of your professors. For research-related issues, librarians are incredibly adept at helping, and are usually eager to assist. Don’t forget your campus Tutoring Center for workshops and one-on-one help with your courses.

Next go to the page entitled Jump-starting your college career.” This page provides useful self-knowledge exercises to give you direction in your search for college success. Let’s get started!