It’s finally here. After four long years of high school it’s time for college, and freedom. Parties, late night pizzas, and tailgating at the game is all you can seem to think about.
Before you get too absorbed in your social calendar, make sure you have a plan for staying on top of your classes and your grades as well. If you don’t, you may find your new found freedom to be short-lived.
Here are some tips and tricks to make sure you are successful this semester.
Keep a Calendar
This probably isn’t the first time you’ve heard this. Your teachers have been telling you to keep a homework planner since you were in middle school. This is not middle school however, this is college and this is the first time in your educational career where you will be informed on the first day of class about a paper that is worth 50% of your grade, and then never hear about it again. At least not until the day it’s due. At the same time you will become involved in everything from campus organizations to dorm activities, not to mention going out with all of your new friends.
Simply updating your planner just won’t cut it anymore. Make time to schedule your days, weeks, and months. Have nonnegotiable study time built into your daily and weekly schedule and then stick to it. If something comes up at the same time as your study time, send your regrets. If you treat your study time like it’s your job then you will do well.
Many anxious and excited incoming students pick their classes by simply checking them off of the list. Don’t just enroll in classes, select courses that makes sense for your credit load and future semesters. At the very least don’t select courses that will compete for your study time. Try to stick to only one or two really challenging classes a semester.
Some courses will come easily to you and others will provide an unexpected challenge. A student taking average classes should expect to spend no less than 20 hours per week studying. For students who include more challenging classes in their schedule, the study time expectation increases to a minimum of 30 hours per week. Bottom line, the more mindful you are when picking classes the more successful you will be at balancing your school life with your social life.
Go to Class
As tempting as it may be to turn off your alarm and go back to sleep, you have to go to class if you really want to survive in college. Simply getting the notes from a classmate and showing up on test days is not going to propel you to success. It’s amazing how much you learn and retain by listening to the lectures and taking notes.
Oftentimes, the professor will highlight important information by writing statements or keywords on the board or pointing them out in a PowerPoint presentation. Only those who attend can pick up on the hints provided by the professor. If you know you are not a morning person, try staying in the night before your early class or only scheduling later classes.
Getting to know your classmates, dorm members, and fellow club members is all a part of the college experience as well. Don’t skip out on the parties or having fun in your own way. Having time to relax is just as important as studying. Just be sure to be smart. Only go to parties where you know there will be rides, designated drivers, or are alcohol-free.
A personal injury Attorney in Austin warns that the consequences for intoxicated or drunk driving can ruin much more than a semester. They can impact your finances as well. If you are walking to parties, be sure to stay safe on the streets as well and have a sober friend if possible.
Being successful in college is all about finding the right balance between study life and social life and setting your priorities to match. Too much study time and you will suffer from burnout. Too much play time and you will suffer from flunking out. Look at it this way, you made it this far so you must know a little bit about hard work. Stay focused and stick to your priorities and the rest will fall into place.