If you’re in college, you’ve just finished up a tough semester and you’re about one month into this one.
Whether it was your first fall semester or your last, I’m sure you experienced some bumpy points along the way- I know I did.
I worked my butt off and got a 4.0 GPA for the semester, but this post isn’t being written to brag. I know so many people who worked hard and sadly didn’t open up their email to straight A’s & that’s okay!
Through last semester, I watched myself as well as my friends struggle with a class or two. During that semester I also learned a lot about my study habits as well as what I’m good and not so good at.
Although I know that I am a good test taker, I also know that I’m not the best at writing essays, doing creative things, or speaking in front of people. I think one of the most important keys to success in college is knowing what your strengths and weaknesses are.
Most professors base your grade in the class upon these type of assessments: (There may be other ways but these are the majority of what I’ve experienced thus far)
-Presentations, tests, class participation, discussion boards, homework, and essays.
Now, looking at these I know I’m not the greatest with 2 to 3 of them. That realization took me a while, but it has really benefitted me to know that.
I’m going to give you all some tips I’ve learned throughout the semesters that I believe are the keys to success:
1. Figure out how you study best: what study techniques work and where do you focus best?
- Personally, I know that making study guides and re-writing my notes helps me retain information the best. Other options could be flash cards, quizlet, re reading notes or powerpoint, or doing practice problems
- You also need to know what study environment is best. Can you handle noise, music, or studying with friends? If the answer is no, you may want to go to the quieter floors of the library when studying
2. Make a plan: what do I have to do, when do I have to do it by, and what should I use to actually make this plan?
- This year, I discovered the best things ever- planners, lists, and the google calendar app
- These things help you to organize what you need to do, when you need to do it by, and also what you’re week as a whole is looking like
- There’s nothing more satisfying than crossing things off a list. It will motivate you to finish and will also give you a confidence boost when you’re finished
- These tools are also great reminders and help you not to forget meetings, classes, sports, and when assignments are due!
3. Use your resources: who should I go to for help and what help is available for me?
- Colleges have so many resources that students can use to do well such as:
- Tutors, TA’s, study groups, extra help/tutoring sessions, the writing center, and your professors!
- Never be scared to walk into the writing center at your school because I guarantee they’ll catch at least one thing that you can improve. You don’t have to listen to all of their suggestions, but they’ll definitely make you think about what you can improve and change
- My personal go-to is talking to my professors! I’m always emailing them or meeting with them, whether it’s just to talk or help with homework. Most professors love when students come to their office hours and it shows that you’re working hard in their class.
4. Prioritize: when should I do my work, should I go out tonight or should I stay at the library to do work?
- Figure out what assignment you need to get done first, make a list!
- It feels good to cross things off, and doing the things that are due first is the best way to ensure they get finished on time
- Realize that it’s okay to miss a Thursday at the bar or Bachelor Monday’s with your friends to get things done, it will probably be a whole lot quieter at the library anyways if you go during times like those
5. Understand that everyone’s workload is different: why do I have all of this work, should I switch majors, and am I doing something wrong?
- Realize that some people are going to have less work than you do, and as much as that stinks, that’s life.
- Honestly, your workload is going to depend on your classes and your professors, some are going to give you more work and you’ll hate them now but you’ll be thankful later
- If you really can’t handle it, you can switch majors. But think about it- why quit something when the times get tough, don’t give up your dreams because you don’t want to do the work
As finals week approaches, good luck & study hard… less than 2 weeks until break!!