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Steps Toward Success

April 18, 2018

What are the keys to happiness in higher education?

According to a group of first-year students and Lasell College President Michael B. Alexander, it is important to have a strong support system, a robust educational experience, and an on-campus network that makes you happy. These, and other pathways to success, were discussed as part of Lasell's First Year Success Series (FYSS), "Getting the Most Out of College."  

On April 3, the students joined Alexander in his office to explore his list of 15 Theses for Succeeding in College and to share feedback on their first year at Lasell. Alexander initially created the list for his daughter when she began college, and later decided to share more broadly when he became president of Lasell. On the list are a number of suggestions, some of which are summarized below.

•  Get to know at least one professor per semester. It will make the work more meaningful and fun (and could lead to a higher grade).

•  Carry at least one book with you wherever you go.

•  Share what you learn with your friends and classmates. When you help someone else with their work, or explain what you know about a subject, you learn it more thoroughly and are more likely to score higher on tests and papers.

•  Listen with an open mind to the thoughts and opinions of others. You will learn the most from those who are not like you, from those who approach ideas from a different perspective, and who come from a different background.

•  Find something about which to be passionate: a course, an activity, a research project, a club, a job, an internship. Your learning will accelerate.

•  When you graduate, if there is only one thing you can do well, it should be that you can communicate your thoughts and ideas both orally and in writing.

•  Fight for your own ideas, your own point of view, while honoring the ideas of others with all the respect they deserve.

•  Life is short, so do your best each day and make sure you enjoy it along the way.  

In the workshop itself, students were asked to select their favorite thesis from the list and to discuss it with the group. Before they departed, Alexander requested feedback to help shape future experiences of first-year students.  

The FYSS workshop series includes sessions on note taking, financial wellness, diversity and inclusion, and getting involved on campus outside of the classroom. It is run through the college's academic advising department, which houses a program solely for first-year students to "succeed as productive members of the Lasell College community."  

For information on upcoming FYSS workshops, please visit