A little while back, I started writing a lot about college. I wrote about things I wish I'd known before I started college a few years ago. I've also shared a few things like time management and how to survive the first day. I've decided it's about time I continued on with the College Chronicles.
Today I want to talk strategy. A lot of people think that college is going to be the hardest time of their life. You're broke, up to your eyeballs in student loans, and trying not to fail out so you don't lose that financial aid. When I started school, I was honestly kind of worried about how successful I would be. High school was hard for me. I had a hard time focusing, I constantly procrastinated, and I blew off a ton of my work. Honestly, looking back, I don't even know why. It wasn't hard. I was just a lazy bum.
So I was afriad I'd fall into the same patterns and fail when it came to college, but I was able to learn a few lessons and figure out how to succeed in college.
1) Take notes in your lectures. I know it's hard, but it is so important. When it comes time to study for tests and midterms, you will be so happy that you took notes. One of the best ways I learned to take notes was to follow along with the lecture in my book and makes notes in the margin as the teacher talks. I usually keep some paer near by or sticky notes incase I write too much, but it helps connect your notes to the reading and the lectures
2) Go to class. Some days you will just think "Well I don't really feel like it today" and you'll want to skip class. By missing class you could not only be missing some important information, but you could be losing participation points I missed two classes of one of my classes and I got behind really fast! Don't skip...
3) Try your best not to procrastinate. This might be the hardest one. When you have a syllabus, you can see your assignments weeks in advance. It's tempting to think "That's not due for weeks!" But before you know it, the due date is tomorrow and you're preparing to pull an all nighter with some Red Bull and text books. If you do a little bit of the work at a time it feels less overwhelming and it's easier to complete. Even if you wait to write the paper the night before, at least to the work leading up to it earlier!
4) Understand what your teachers want from you. Some of your teachers want you to participate more and don't care as much about assignments. Other teachers won't bother to learn your name and will only judge you on the quality of your papers. Understand which classes need attention in different areas.
5) Do the required reading. For one, text books are expensive. If you don't use them, you're wasting your money. And two, when you do the reading and then go to class, it's amazing how much more you'll remember after class. It will make it so you have to study for tests less because you read on your own then you get a supplemental explanation from your professor. It is so worth the time to read.
6) Pace yourself. This one might be the most important. I learned the hard way that you can't sit down and barrel through 100 pages of reading in one sitting. Designate times to do different class work/reading and don't overwhelm youself. This will keep you from procrastinating and give you a little free time to enjoy the un-school parts of college.
So far, I've been able to acheive all As and Bs in college. It isn't always easy, but if you pay attention to these tips and really apply them it will be difficult to fail. College is an investiment in your future. It's worth it to apply yourself and really do well. I just remind myself that I've paid a lot of money for my education, so I better make the most of it!