Whether you’re a freshman or a senior, college can be a challenging experience. Everyone who attends college has the same goal – graduate with a degree. Between studying, lectures, papers, and exams, it is a lot easier said than done. Even the most seasoned college student struggles from time to time.
Here are some tips that I have learned throughout my college experiences that have worked for me time and time again. Success in college can come in different ways and timing depending on the person, but hopefully after reading this article you’ll feel a little more prepared to be successful in college.
1. Every class counts
They say once you skip one class, it will become easier and easier to skip more. If it gets out of hand, you’ll end up skipping more classes than you’re attending. Of course, not all professors require mandatory attendance for your overall grade in the class, but it is still important to attend. Normally, the dynamics of a typical college course starts out with the majority of the students showing up the first week of class; however, as each week goes by, fewer students attend class, resulting in little to no students in the class at all.
Attending classes gives you an advantage. Though you may feel as if you do not need to attend the lectures, it is always in your best interest to attend as many as possible. Attending class betters your relationship with your professor. So, asking for things such as extra credit or an extended deadline have a possibility of working in your favor. Also, you never know what you’re missing when you’re not there, and I speak from experience on this. In one of my previous classes, since only a handful of students attended, the professor would offer extra credit and answers to future exams only for the students who attended class. This proves the benefit in showing up to class.
2. Maintain a good relationship with your professors
Favoritism is a real thing. It is always in your best interest to get on your professor’s good side. Professors love when you engage with the lessons and are responsive to lectures. Setting up a time to visit your professors during their office hours also helps. This shows that you care not only about the course and your grades but also that you are interested in what they’re teaching. These are some of the best ways to build a better relationship with your professor. It always helps to have a professor who likes you; you never know when you might need to convince them to round your grade.
3. Make reliable friends
Entering college, you have the opportunity to engage and meet a lot of diverse people. Also, you can make new friends and create different social groups that you can connect with. Making friends with people in all your different classes makes it easier to stay better connected with your courses. With friends, it becomes easier to do homework and study for tests. Whenever you cannot make it to class, you can ask one of your friends to send you the notes and fill you in on what you missed. Another perk: you will always have a study buddy.
4. Procrastination is the enemy
Every student – whether you’re in college or not – experiences procrastination. The more you give into procrastination, the worse it becomes. Being successful in college is mainly due to being disciplined. Practicing discipline in studying, completing assignments, and staying organized are all key to success in college. The best way to prevent procrastination is to practice time management. There are numerous ways to manage your time appropriately; taking some time to research and choose which method of time management works best for you will pay off in the long run.
One of my former professors had a suggestion for time management: pretend the assignment is due the night before the actual due date. Some people work better under pressure caused by procrastination, but waiting till the last minute is always a risk, no matter who you are. Time management is one of the most important tips for being extremely successful in college.
5. Good notes go a long way
Studying is an essential part of passing classes. Whether you study by reading the book, reviewing notes, or listening to recorded lectures, it is always good to study for any course. It is a proven fact that writing something down will give you a better chance at remembering it. Taking notes – good notes – is an important part of studying efficiently. Good notes make it easier to review the subjects discussed in class.
Reading your own phrasing and words can make it easier to understand a concept as well. Note-taking is a skill that you have to practice. Anybody can take notes, but not everyone can take efficient notes. With a little research and trying different methods, you can decide what works best for you. Improving your note-taking abilities increases your chances of receiving a higher grade in your classes.
All of these tips have proven solid for my success toward my college education. Everyone’s experience is relative to who the person is. What works well for one person may not work best for someone else. You can take these tips and modify them to what works well for you. Success in college can be achieved through diligence, discipline, and perseverance. With these tips, being successful may become a little easier.