How to be Successful in College from the Beginning
How to be Successful in College
Getting ready to start college? Maybe you’re already enrolled somewhere but feel like your grades are not where they should be. Here are some practical tips that anyone can apply to become a successful college student in a matter of no time. Whether you are just starting out in college or have a couple of years of “getting by” under your belt. These tips on how to be a successful college student can help you take your academic career to the next level quickly!
Let’s face it…it’s probably been a while (if ever) since you were truly organized about your studies. Organizing your study efforts into shorter blocks of attainable and achievable goals can take even the largest list of assignments and make them seem entirely achievable. Start by segmenting your study into topics by each course. Then break down each assignment and rate a difficulty level to each one. Then start by knocking out the most difficult assignments first while you are still fresh and not tired. You’ll be surprised how easily the rest of your study session flows following these simple steps.
Yes you have to actually go to class…
No matter what your friends say, no matter how many notes you copy or books you read…nothing replaces the benefit of actually being in class and hearing right from the instructors mouth what you need to know! So YES you have to go to class!
Take good notes…
Some people think that you have to write down every word the instructor says. This is not necessarily true. In fact, you are most likely better served by actually paying attention to what is said and just writing down the highlights of the conversation. It will take some time, but most instructors have a way of letting you know what’s really important like topic highlights, something you might see again later, something you might want to read a little more about, etc. The point here is don’t worry too much about getting everything they say written down because if you are trying to transcribe the lecture, chances are you may be missing some of the key points because you are too busy trying to write everything down.
Set some time aside to actually study…
Remember that lecture you were in earlier today? Chances are that it is tied pretty closely to a reading assignment you have. If you did not read it before class, read it now before starting your assignment. If you did read it before the class, read it again, then review your notes and THEN do your assignment. Homework assignments are nothing more than tasks that designed to reinforce what you should have already read about or heard about in class. If you have actually done that, homework assignments should become a breeze!
Ask for help when you need it!
Okay…even with these tips, sometimes you might still need some additional help. The trick here is to recognize early when you need that help and then actually ask for it. Start with your instructor. If they can’t help you, chances are they know if a resource (study group, tutoring service or fellow student) that can help you grasp the topic better. But again, this relies on you actually realizing there’s an issue and then asking for help early enough in the class so that you are not too far behind and then unable to catch up.
Let’s face it…college is an entirely different animal than high school. Mom and dad are not there every night checking to see if you have finished your homework or to make sure you get up in time for class. These tasks now fall unto your shoulders. The ones that see that and put systems in place to make sure that they get to class and get through their homework assignments are the ones that succeed in college!
For more study tips read: 10 Effective Study Habits for College Students