Your college years are potentially some of the most productive and most important years of your life.
It’s not that the rest of your life is meaningless in comparison or that you’ll never have fun or accomplish anything after college.
Rather, the importance of college is that it lays the groundwork for the rest of your life.
Your college years will likely influence your career path, will help or hinder your career development and will set the pace for the next decade and beyond.
So, Needless to Say, College Is Kind of a Big Deal
If this is your first year of college, you might already find yourself struggling in some areas after only one semester. Relax. That’s actually not unusual. It doesn’t mean you’re not cut out for college, and it certainly doesn’t mean that you are destined for failure in life. You just need some pointers. Below are seven tips to help you succeed this semester and set yourself up for a strong finish down the road.
Plan Out Your Academic Career in Detail
Your academic and career success begins with proper planning. Sure, you want to learn the material that is presented to you by your teachers. But you aren’t going to college just to get an education. This isn’t 1985. Knowledge is readily available for free or for very little money. You can even take free college classes online.
So let’s not pretend that it’s all about the education. You’re smarter than that. You’re actually there because you need that college degree, and you need those credentials to work in the field that interests you.
Choosing the right college is just as important as choosing the right major. A prestigious career begins with a degree from a prestigious college. So make sure you’re getting your degree from a school that can fast track your career. If you don’t know which colleges will give you the best head start on your chosen career, then start reading some independence university reviews to find the school that best fits your needs.
Manage Your Time Effectively
Succeeding in college is less a matter of intelligence and more about work habits and time management. One of the key ways to be successful in school, according to educational coaches such as Daniel Wong, is to rely on systems, not motivation. You can’t always wait until you’re in the mood to study, or you’ll rarely get anything done. The world is full of unknown geniuses with wasted talent. Don’t be one of those, but don’t think that regular people can’t achieve greatness either. It all starts with using your time wisely and developing effective management systems.
Learn effective goal-setting techniques. Learn how to prioritize your tasks and distinguish between work that is urgent and work that is important. There is a difference. Also, learn to recognize your own body’s natural rhythms and energy fluctuations. Forcing yourself to study at specific times because the clock says it’s time to study is hardly the best way to succeed in college.
Learn Speed Reading and Memory Boosters
Did you know that some of your fellow students are running circles around you simply because they learned how to read faster? Speed reading isn’t a magical gift that some people are born with and others are born without. It is a skill that can be learned and improved upon.
Similarly, there are specific techniques that can help you boost your memory and retain information at a greater rate. One of the things that holds so many college students back is that they never learn the material the first time it is presented. So they have to go back and relearn the same material over and over for their exams. This is a huge waste of time and energy. You must learn to focus and maximize your time in class.
Prioritize Your Classwork
This might sound blasphemous, but there’s no law that says you must give equal time and focus to every class, every professor and every assignment. Some assignments are not worth the time required to complete them. They aren’t loaded heavily toward your final grade. You might experiment with allotting a specific amount of time toward each assignment based on its overall value and then schedule your work time accordingly.
Start Your Day Early with a Productive Morning Routine
Many of the most successful women and men throughout history have sworn that waking early and following a morning routine was key to their success. If you’re sleeping in every day, skipping breakfast, rushing to class and feeling stressed out as you sneak in and collapse into the nearest empty seat, you’re not doing it right.
Go to bed a few minutes earlier and wake up a few minutes earlier. Do this every day and reset the alarm every week until you are getting out of bed with at least an hour to kill before class. Ease into your day and watch what a difference it makes to your academic performance and mental health.
Take Extra Classes
You can save yourself a lot of time and energy by graduating a semester or two earlier than your peers. Everyone seems to think that a college degree requires a full four years of schooling, but there are lots of students who finish much sooner and get into the workforce that much faster.
You don’t have to be a genius to do this. You just have to manage your time, focus on your priorities and use some college success hacks to move ahead faster.
Take Time to Recharge
Hard work requires sufficient rest. As this next semester progresses, you’re going to find that a lot of students who packed into that classroom on day one are nowhere to be found on day 30. They didn’t change their mind about taking the class. They simply pushed too hard, wasted a lot of time and energy with their unproductive habits and then burned out.
Maybe you dropped some classes yourself last semester. But that doesn’t need to happen to you this time. You must simply learn to work hard when it’s time to work and rest adequately when it’s time to rest. Take a nap on the lawn outside the humanities building in between classes if you have to. Skip a party here and there if you have to. Learn to say “no” to others once in a while and say “yes” to yourself more often.
Succeeding in college doesn’t have to be difficult. It is hard work, of course. But there is nothing magical about it. You just need to manage your time better, set better priorities, learn to focus, stop wasting time and work some balance into your life. Follow these tips this semester and see how they impact your performance for a smooth college semester.
- Thomas Frank
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
- Edition no. 1 (01/05/2015)
- Broadway Books
- Cal Newport
- Publisher: Three Rivers Press
- Cynthia C Muchnick
- Kindle Edition
Last update on 2019-05-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API