By Marla Stone, MA
A successful college experience means more than just academics. In order to be able to stay in school to enjoy the social aspects of college, however, you have to keep up with your academics. Time managment and asking for help when you need it are crucial to academic success. Here are some tips to help with the process:
§ Set goals for yourself even if you change them throughout college. Realistic goals help keep you motivated and provide meaning, as well as direction. Focus on getting better and enjoying the learning process, rather than just focusing on getting an “A”.
§ Keep a weekly calendar, as well as a long-term calendar. Plan your week and follow it. In fact, pick a set day and time each week when you will plan out and review your week. Think about your various roles when planning your week (for example, student, soccer player, member of student government) to help you recall your various tasks. Knowing how to manage your time is crucial to college success.
§ Make a date with yourself to study at specific times of day during the week and honor that commitment. Put it on your calendar and commit to using that time for homework. Be just as diligent as you would be if you scheduled a doctor’s appointment. You will develop a routine for studying. During those times, review class notes within 24 hours after taking them. It doubles your retention rate of material and certainly will be helpful when it comes to studying for exams.
§ Ask for help if you need it. Support is there but you have to be the one to ask for it. Asking for help shows real maturity. If you want someone to review a paper in the writing center, be sure you plan ahead as appointments may book up quickly. Self-advocacy is another hallmark of college success.
§ Attend every class. Professors may base test questions on class notes rather than just text readings. Given the cost of tuition, missing one class could be like throwing away at least $50.00. If something comes up that absolutely keeps you from getting to class (a high fever, etc.) email your professor before class and see if you need a note from health services to excuse you from the missed class.
§ Take an active role in your college experience. Own your own journey.