College is your initial journey into adulthood. It is the first time most college students are in complete control of their time and decisions. You should know, however, many universities frontload the number of students in the freshmen class knowing that many will not complete the first year of studies. It is probable, many 100-level courses will be taught by graduate students. How do you bet the odds? Arm yourself with a few tips for success for the first year and beyond.
To begin with, many college course grades are based on a few exams with no other assignments. So basically, the class may consist of a mid-term and final exam. If you do poorly on the first exam, your grade for the course can be doomed. The days of cramming for tests and asking for extra credit are over. If you are one point short of the next grade you probably won’t get “rounded up.” With this reality in mind, it is important to be prepared by studying each day of class even if the exam is weeks away.
In addition, take advantage of professor office hours. It is important to visit your instructors to ask questions and clarify concepts well before scheduled exams. Showing an interest in the course makes you memorable to the professor, and creates the opportunity to ask specific questions relevant to the current course topic. Building relationships with your content-area experts becomes increasingly important as you prepare for internships and interviewing. You will need references.
Next, be sure to join a study group. Remember, two heads are better than one; thus, other students may understand concepts you did not and you might be more knowledgeable in other areas. Studying in a group adds accountability for contributions and assistance for weaknesses. As one semester rolls into another, several of these group members will be in other courses so this builds a network for your program of study.
Finally, one of the most basic, but important ideas is time management. Yes, this is not a new idea, but one of the biggest reasons for failure. Put yourself on a schedule and adhere to it. College is a wonderful educational experience with lots of distractions. It is very is to decide to “do it later,” but beware, procrastination can reap havoc on your studies.
With these college tips your new journey into independence will be a breeze, and you will not be a freshmen statistic.