It's that time of year again… Soon the smell of backyard cookouts and chlorine will be replaced with the smell of new textbooks and sharpened pencils. College students are heading back to campus, and that means back to two-hour lectures, hectic schedules, and late-night study sessions.
College can be an intimidating place; the days of recess and snack time have been replaced with 20-page research papers and more pages to read in one week than a chapter book. College can also be an unforgettable time of discovery, growth and fun.
You may have met your new roommate, moved into your new apartment, or bought all of your supplies, but we want to make sure you are really ready to meet this semester head-on. We have compiled a few college survival tips to help make your next year of learning fun and productive!
Create some space: If you have not already registered for classes, try not to schedule all of your classes back-to-back. The best time to review a few notes is in the hour right before or right after a class. Not to mention, a break will give you the chance to unwind, grab a healthy snack, and take your time getting to your next class. Give yourself time to prepare and regroup, plan ahead to stay organized!
Study smart: Many college students would probably agree that it feels like the majority of their time at school is spent studying, outside of the classroom. Studying is important, but it does not have to take up every minute of your day and night if you do it right. First of all, try to study during the day. What takes you an hour during the day might take you two hours at night. Second, find a comfortable study space that has all materials readily available. Find a space with minimum distractions and one that you use for studying ONLY.
Next, put studying in your planner. Make a schedule of when you are going to study each day and stick to it. Don't put anything off, especially reading assignments. Make studying a priority. It also helps to find a buddy or two in each of your classes that you can study with. Quizzing each other makes studying more fun! Finally, study the hard stuff first. It doesn’t make sense to delve into the material you find the most challenging three hours into your study session, when your brain already feels fried.
Don't procrastinate on learning: Your professor presents material that you know will be on the test and that will be difficult to learn. You decide you will learn it later so you write it down while thinking about lunch. We have all done it. Instead of saving it for later, learn and memorize the material as it is presented, or take an hour after class to study. When finals come around, you might be surprised that "cramming" turns into "reviewing."
Start your day off early: You might dread those early morning lectures, but scheduling classes too late in the morning might allow you to sleep more than you need to. Getting an early start to your morning will make your day more productive. Wake yourself up with a light jog and a good breakfast. Use daylight hours instead of nighttime hours to get the homework and studying done.
Life is not a race: Don't be in a hurry to decide what you want to do with your life. You don't need to declare a major right away. Take your time and enjoy exploring your options. Getting a taste of each subject will make school more interesting and will ensure that you find your true passion. Many colleges offer academic advisors and career counseling to help make the major decisions more manageable.
Don't forget to have fun: Your recesses don't have to be totally eliminated, make some time for active fun. Don't use your breaks to sit around and do nothing, get outside with some friends and blow off some steam and stress with your favorite sport or activity.
School doesn't have to darken the end of a sunny summer. Use these tips to make college a little less stressful and a lot more fun. But first, get out there and enjoy the summer sun!
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Labels: staying alert and focused