I'm Austin Fadely, author and student success coach. I focus on helping students like you get the most value from their education and careers.
My name is Austin Fadely, and I started College Conquerors to be an educational program designed to teach students life skills they don't learn in school. These skills are critical for success in college and work. I'm a success coach and author of such books as Conquering College and Contender. I began working in education in 2006 as a textbook writer and editor. Since then, I've helped students of all levels as a math and writing tutor and as a college preparation coach and speaker. Over the past several years, I've noticed a growing trend: students just aren't adjusting to college that well. I wanted to know if this was a nation-wide problem or if it was just something I noticed with the students I spoke to and worked with. I did some research and discovered some alarming statistics:
Although more students are attending college than ever, 80% of students at most public universities will not graduate on time. That's an average of $11,000 per semester according to a recent NYT article. Even flagship state universities graduate only a third of their students on time. Every year, parents lose tens of thousands of dollars. The root of the problem is that students just aren't prepared for the whirlwind changes that come in college. High schools have to focus on standards and state curricula, which do nothing to prepare students. And the students who get tripped up their first semester or two aren't the ones you'd think. They're the achievers—the A and B students. These students have "figured out the system" and have succeeded. Now they face a different system, where their old habits won't work. The most common problems?
-Students don't know how to study (a lot of high achievers didn't have to study hard in high school)
-Students don't understand that they have to read and study outside of class (most work in high school is done in class, but in college it's flipped)
-Students aren't aware or equipped to understand the major social changes in college. The College Conquerors program fills the gaps in student learning. We help achievers stay achievers by teaching fundamental life skills that students will need for the rest of their lives. We cover study habits, time management, budgeting, conflict resolution, and much more. Our aim is to equip students with the tools they'll need to conquer college and life beyond it.
Operating as usual
If you read nothing else today, I hope you take the time to read this. Though I try to focus on college on this page, the thought I want to share with you is broader than that, though it certainly still applies.
Imagine you are a child building a Lego tower. At first, you don't really know what you want to build; you're just building. The kids sitting next to you are your friends and family. Sometimes you have to borrow their blocks, and sometimes they have to borrow yours.
After a while, your tower starts to look pretty nice. It's colorful and everything is exactly where you want it, but then it starts to wobble and eventually fall. You've still got part of your tower, but the rest of it's everywhere. It's a disaster.
You might cry a bit because all of your hard work feels like it's gone, and you lost something that was just the way you wanted it. But then you start to build, and you notice your friends are letting you take their blocks. So you build a better tower with your experience and help from your friends and family.
Everyone's towers are going to fall at least a few times in their lives. And each time, it feels harder and harder to start building again, but that's what we have to do. What's the alternative?
So if you've had your tower knocked down recently, It's ok to cry and mourn (that's a natural part of healing), but at some point soon, I hope you can pick up the pieces and start building again. That's the thing about Legos: the fun is in the building.
This car is over $100,000. I've had the privilege of riding in one. Imagine buying one of these and then wrecking it. Now repairs are going to cost $10,000. Hopefully you learned your lesson, but maybe you didn't and another crash happens. That's another 10 grand.
This is exactly what you're doing when you aren't taking your college education seriously. You spend needless money on extra semesters. I guarantee if you had to pay for this car yourself, you'd take the best possible care of it. Why wouldn't you do the same for your education? It's proven that those with college degrees outearn those that don't. So why would you not take the same care of your college career as you would a Maserati? I mean, a car will never earn you money. It only ever loses value, but your education will always be valuable.
A college degree doesn't guarantee you anything. It may be a pre-requisite for some jobs, and you may feel like you need one to even be remotely competitive in the job market.
If you really want to conquer college, or life for that matter, learn what it takes to improve yourself. Time and time again, I see the people that hold themselves accountable to be better than yesterday rise to the top. It doesn't matter what Johor industry.
College is a great place to better yourself. You'll also make some of the best friends of your life.
The key to success isn't some life hack or tip you read on Facebook: it's a relentless drive deep within that tells you to keep trying and keep learning. It's also the patience to know that if you aren't yet where you want to be, then you need to keep working.
To give up on your dreams is to give up on yourself. Don't do that. You're stuck with you for the rest of your life, so keep trying to be better each day. Understand that pain and failure are inevitable but temporary. Cherish the small wins, and never, ever give up on you.
How I feel when I don't post in a long time.
[05/09/17] Some exams require rote memorization, while others need a semantic understanding. You should know the difference because there are different ways to study for those types of tests. For example, flashcards are great for rote memorization, like memorizing history dates. Tellbacks are great for semantic meaning (try to teach your study buddy the concept you are learning).
We've all had moments like these...
[04/27/17] Want to learn how to write better college essays faster? Check out my live-video at noon Eastern.
Wouldn't it be great if you could write A essays in half the time? It's not a matter of talent; it's a matter of process, and processes can be learned!
Over the next few days, I'll be putting together free videos and strategy plans so you can learn to ace your next paper with a lot less stress and time!
[04/24/17] If you can read this, you should probably be studying...
So FB live cut me off. Oh well. TLDW: I've got free stuff for you.
Looking to start your first job? Not sure how to make your resume standout? Maybe you need some tips on how to crush your interview? Wouldn't it be nice to know how to negotiate a better salary?
You should check out Contender. Now available on Amazon for purchase or free in the lending library.
[04/20/17] Paying for college yourself? Consider taking a year or two in community college. It's much cheaper, some have transfer deals with big universities, and you can still live on your own near campus if you want the "full experience."
The key to getting good grades and having a social life? Planning!
Fail to plan, plan to fail. It's that simple. I can show you how to plan your study time so you can get the grades you want and still have one of the best times of your life.
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[04/18/17] The countdown to finals has begun. Do you have a study plan?
[04/17/17] Start studying for finals now so you don't have to cram at the end. You might sacrifice a party or two, but there will always be another party. Having to repeat a class could lead to another semester's tuition. If I paid you $8,000 to not go to a few parties, would you take it?
[04/17/17] Finals Week Ninjas: you never see them all semester, but they can be spotted at the library on finals week.
The biggest perk I remember was once a semester, we'd get a crab dinner at the Dining Hall...
thrillist.com Did your college have an on-campus beach club? Probably not.
[03/23/17] College is that sliver of space between childhood and paying student loans.
[03/16/17] The best way to graduate on time is to create a graduation plan. Get cozy with your course catalog and list the courses that interest you. Make sure they count towards your major or general ed requirements, and share your plan with your academic advisor to make sure you didn't miss anything.
Very cool to be featured on Earnest.com! It's an honor to be quoted in "The ROI of a Graduate Degree." https://www.earnest.com/decision-making/articles/what-is-the-roi-of-graduate-school
My udemy course: The Secrets to Conquer College in 4 Years, is available on sale now. Price goes up soon. Check it out today for only $15!
udemy.com Must-know strategies for modern college students
There are no straight paths to getting what you want in life and there is no time limit. It only takes a bit of self reflection and a relentless frame of mind.
She's ripped. She's gracious. She's also 80 years old. Meet Ernestine Shepherd-World's Oldest Female Body Builder.