Tuesday, September 18, 2018

How to be Successful in College

Seeing as it's my fourth year in college, I thought that I would share some of the things that I do to stay on top of everything that I have going on with classes (homework, tests, due dates, etc.), work, friends, and all of that good stuff. These tips may not work for everyone, so if you have any other tips that I don't have in this post feel free to share them! That way this post can be a sort of list of good ideas for people to try out.

It's hard to be successful if you don't have the proper supplies. For me personally, it helps to have one multi-subject notebook (I use the 5 Star brand, but if there' a different brand you like then go for it) so that I can have one notebook with all of my notes for every class in it. That way I don't have to worry about forgetting a notebook, or grabbing the wrong one. or anything like that. I also like to get the FRIXION brand of pens because they're erasable but they don't smudge or bleed through the paper, and I think that the writing is easier to read than with pencil. I think having a great pen or pencil that you like and a great notebook or notebooks. For some classes I find that taking notes on my computer is the best options, so making sure that I have a charger in my backpack and a good working computer can be just as important for my school supplies as having the right pens and notebook.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but when it comes to knowing what's going on in a course you have to read the syllabus. In the past I have had professors put a major assignment in the syllabus along with a due date but never talk about it in class, so the only way to know was to have read the syllabus. Some professors set up their syllabus like a calendar, which is really awesome because it lets you see what you need to do prior to class each day. One of the main keys to being successful is knowing what's expected of you in a course, and all of that is in the syllabus.

If the syllabus is set up like a calendar then you could get away with skipping this step. For me, unless I have something written down then I completely forget about it. I have a planner that I write everything in for the school year and that I use to help ensure that I do all of the homework I need to and have my work schedule laid out. A lot of people will use the calendar app in their phone and have reminders set up, or there are some great white-board or desk calendar options that are available as well! The worst thing ever in college is forgetting about an exam, or when an assignment is due, so it's great to be aware of what's going on in advance. Plus it's fun to decorate planners and calendars, or get fun pens and markers and such.

Seriously. Go to class. I'm not kidding. It's worth it.

When people talk about their college experience they talk about how much fun they had and all the friends they made. The thing is... It's REALLY easy to spend all of your time studying or in classes or at work. It's important to say yes when you're invited to things, and to hang out with friends even if all you do is watch a movie or eat food or something lowkey/relaxing. It's also important to take the time out of your day to do some self care, which can also be something you do with friends as well. Someone once told me that "You Don't Remember the Nights You Got Enough Sleep" and that's really true. You may be tired the next day, but the memories are amazing. (This is something to be done in moderation!! Don't stay up every single night, but the occasional night will be okay. You don't want to sleep through your classes!)

Do I really need to explain this one? Ramon Noodles and Mac & Cheese are not good to eat for every meal. Maybe I'll do a post at some point about what recipes I normally make that are easy for a college student, but finding ones that work for you is really important! You'll feel better and have more energy if you're eating well. My roommate and I will sometimes make a big amount of something and share it, or we'll help each other with meals if one of us is short on time.

This was something that took me a long time to get used to. For some reason I had it ingrained in my brain that asking for help would mean that I was failing, which I came to learn wasn't true. For this tip, it's important to know what your resources are. Know when your teachers are available to help you, know which friends are willing to help you, know what mental health services are available, know what you have access to. If you need more time to take exams than other students, don't be afraid to ask for that time. If you don't understand something don't feel like a failure going in to see the professor or a friend for help. If you're struggling with mental health don't be afraid to talk to someone about it.

I'm sure that I could com up with more, but for the time being those are the predominant things that I think about when it comes to being successful in college. I know that the school year is already under way for most people, but it's never too late to get some advice and help when it comes to being successful!

I hope you enjoyed this post and I would love to know if you have any more tips!

I'll see you on Thursday

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