If you want to make sure that your first year at college is a good one, then there are some steps that you can take. It doesn’t matter whether you are nervous about trying a new course or whether you simply want to make sure that you are going to meet some new friends because this guide will help you to get through your first year of college without breaking a sweat.
Don’t Schedule a Lot of Classes
When you sign up for your classes, you may feel tempted to schedule them back-to-back. The main reason why you need to avoid doing this is because you will eventually wear yourself out and you may even find that you miss out on the best time to study as well. This is right before and of course, right after class.
Know what is Expected of You
Another thing that you need to do is begin the first day of class and know exactly what is expected of you. Take notes from the first day even if you think you know everything, and take the time to ask any questions you need. If you can do this, then you will soon be able to do what is expected of you as you make your way through the modules and you will also have a solid foundation of material in which to reference in the future. This will help you far more than you realise, and it will also give you chance to practice taking notes. Sure, writing down stuff you already know may seem pointless, but it will give you the speed and precision you need to practice your handwriting when it comes to stuff you aren’t so sure about.
Establish a Routine
Another thing that you need to do is try and establish a routine so that you can study for each and every class you are taking. For every hour you spend in your class, you ideally need to spend two hours studying out of class. You need to study for every subject at the same time, if possible. Study includes more than simply doing your homework as well. You need to go over your notes from class by editing and labelling them to make sure that you understand everything. Be sure to do as many reading assignments as you can and never put them off because there isn’t a written version of the assignment. Other things that you can do include reading ahead where possible, and if you know that there is a pop quiz coming up, do some practice for that as well.
Establish a Good Place to Study
Your place should have a desk and a comfortable chair. It should also have good lighting and all of the supplies that you could ever need. It’s also important to make sure that you have as few distractions as possible. Your study place should not be somewhere you routinely do other things, it should be where you study, full stop. If you can make sure that this is the case, then you will soon find that you are able to concentrate more.
Study During the Day
Do as much studying as possible during the day. If you can make sure that this is the case, then you will soon find that you are able to get a way better result out of your academic activity and that you are also able to really boost your overall confidence. If you study at night, then you may find that you are not able to concentrate as much and that your brain is not able to withhold information as well either. This is the last thing that you need, so make sure that you leave a few hours free during the day so that you can keep track of everything.
Take a ten-minute break every hour or so if you can. If possible, you also need to avoid long blocks of studying. If you are able to spread your studying out over several hours a day, then this will really help you out and you may even find that you are able to have a much more productive session overall. If you try and cram too much studying into one session, then you won’t be able to process information as much and you may even find that you burn out easily too. If you want to really help yourself, then make sure that you take advantage of study resources on campus. Find out about tutors, videos, labs and even computer programs if you can. It’s also helpful for you to take advantage of any online tools that may help you with your studying. This percent calculator may help if you’re studying a math-based module.
Get in Touch with Other Students
Find one or two students in every class to study with. Studies have shown that students who team up with study buddies are able to make better grades. You may find that you are way more motivated if you know someone else cares about what you are doing, and you can also help others to work through difficult modules. This can work in your favour much more than you realise, and you may even find that you are able to stay focused more too.
Study the Hardest stuff First
You also need to make sure that you study the most difficult stuff first. Work on your subjects one at a time and do it while you are fresh. If you get the difficult stuff out of the way first, then you will soon find that you are able to work on the other stuff when you’re more tired or lethargic.
See the Academic Advisor
When you begin your college life, your advisor will probably be the best person who you can talk to. Most students think that they are going to be more than okay on their own and that they don’t need an advisor, but this is not the case. In fact, an academic advisor can help you far more than you realise if you simply get in touch with them and tell them about the issues that you are having.
Life and Study Balance
College is full of social events. It’s always a good idea for you to try and maintain a good balance so that you do not overly engage with one or the other. Work hard and play hard, so you can maximise your college experience without having to worry about a thing.
Have you ever felt homesick when you are at college? Try and balance this out by making friends. You can do this by attending interest groups. This can include student governments, sports teams or even by joining a fraternity. If you do this, then you will soon find that you have constant company and that you are able to feel much more at home with ease.
Adopt Good Eating Habits
You will stay on campus for a very long period of time. For this reason, you have to make sure that your eating habits are the best that they can be. If you cannot cook in your dorm room for any reason, then try and get some food for a discounted price at the end of the day. If you have a shared kitchen then cooking in bulk is the way to go. When you do, you will soon find that you are able to save money and that you can help other people out too.