Hello Girl Bosses! Throughout my first two years at college I have learned a lot of ways to be successful. I learned this through trial and error, failures and then finally the successes I did have and I want to share them with all of you.
- Attend Class
It is so unbelievably crucial to attend all of your classes if you want to be successful in college. You should also be prepared before class as well as be actively engaged throughout the class. Computers are great and they help students so much, but I believe that taking notes either by hand on paper, or by hand on an iPad or laptop is the best way to learn. When you right things down you tend to remember the content better then when you are typing words on a computer. I suggest that you either take messy notes during class to make sure you can get all of the information that Professor is saying, as well as showing on the lecture slide. My favorite way to take notes is to print out the lecture slides before class and take my notes around the lecture slides while in class. This is very affective to make sure that you can get as much information as you can get so that studying becomes easier. Professors say a lot of important information in class that they don’t post online, and this is crucial because most of those facts and statements the Professor says in class ends up on the test.
You should also attend class because most classes take attendance. Whether the attendance is worth 10% of your grade or 30%, getting a 0 or a 50 in participation can harm your grade. Don’t let participation/attendance affect your grade for the worst, instead use it to your advantage to get that B to an A.
2. Manage your Time
Time management is very hard when a student first starts college, but it is very important that you learn how to manage your time very quickly. Most students take 15-18 credits per semester, which is about 5 to 6 classes. That is a full time schedule and a lot of work and assignments that need to be done throughout the semester. It is also important that you fit time in to have fun and spend time with your friends. Most college students also get involved on campus in clubs ad organizations and some even have jobs as well.
It is very crucial that you manage your time accordingly so you never get behind or too overwhelmed.
3. Be Organized
Having some sort of planner and calendar throughout school will save your academic career. At the beginning of every semester each class gives you a syllabus, I suggest that you put every assignment, due date, quiz and test dates in your planner and on your calendar. This way you will stay with or ahead of your assignments and never forget a due date or test day. It is also important to organize your social and work calendar as well. You want to make sure that any clubs and organizations you are in and any time your are scheduled to work is put into your calendar and planner.
It is also Important to keep your class materials organized so that you don’t lose or misplace any important information, assignments or lecture slides.
4. Make Time for your Social Life
Spending time with your friends and doing fun activities with them is a very important contribute in being successful in college. You want to make sure that you enjoy yourself as these are the best year of your lives. College is where you are going to make great life time friends and wonderful memories that you can one day tell your children. Make sure that you enjoy yourself while you also get a good education. You want to be able to find a balance between school and a social life. Just remember school should always come first and remember to study for that test there will be other parties.
5. Find Study Groups or Like Minded People
It is important to get involved on campus and to find other students who share your same interests, values, ideas and even major. These people become very important and helpful as you try to navigate your way through college. You guys can learn from each other and overall become better people and students.
6. Connect with your Professor or TA
I know it is hard to connect to a Professor especially if you are in a lecture class of 400 students. I suggest that you make your presence in the class known to the Professor by going to office hours and asking questions. Having a professional relationship with a Professor comes in handy because if they know you on a more personal level they will be more likely to help you. This can also give you more options when you need recommendation letters for a job or Graduate School.
7. Find the Best Method for you to Study
Figure out how you learn and how you can retain information the best is very crucial when you are trying to study. A lot of people study with the wrong methods thats why even if they study for hours they still don’t do as well as they wanted to. A couple of methods I suggest are:
- Index Cards / Quizlet
- Pretend that you are teaching the material
- Get quizzed by friends on class material
- Use Study Groups
- Watch educational youtube video that explain each topic
- Read the textbook, notes, and lectures slides
8. Take studying and Homework Seriously
I am a college student so I understand not wanting to study or pushing off homework assignments for as long as you can. But, I found that actually taking a couple of hours to study each night and doing my homework assignments to the best of my ability really helped improve my grades. By studying more frequently and doing the homework assignments, I noticed that I retained a lot more information than if I were to just study before a test. If you do these steps the best you can I am positive your hard work will reflect greatly on your test scores.
9. Have Educational Goals
I know that I keep saying that all of these steps are important (which they are), but this step is the most important out of all of them. Having educational goals sets a path for you and makes you motivated to do well. When you are motivated to do well in school and to get to a certain point in your life, you are going to get there. Use your passion and motivation to drive you in every decision you make and you will not be disappointed, but instead you will see your life going in the direction that you want it to go in.
10. Have fun and Enjoy Yourself
Lastly, Just make sure you are enjoying yourself and having fun because once these years are gone you can not get them back. So make the most of them!