Every student takes a unique journey through their college experience. While completing a college degree program, successful students juggle a variety of obligations. From single parents to full-time employees, college students enroll with varying levels of stress, but these five tips can be of benefit to any college student.
1. Don’t Give Up
It probably goes without saying that college requires hard work. There will undoubtedly be late night study sessions and many trips to the library. While your class schedule may feel overwhelming, especially during midterm or final exam time, prioritization, time management and determination can help ease the stress.
In addition to the assistance you can seek out from your instructors, colleges often offer a variety of resources for students seeking academic help. Some resources you may be able to take advantage of while in college include:
- Resource center/tutoring
- Research/library assistance
- Structured study groups
Holding strong to your goals and refusing to give up when things feel overwhelming is a must for college students. Work hard, do your best and stay confident!
2. Don’t Dwell on Bad Experiences
There will likely come a time during college when you find yourself unhappy with an experience, whether it be a poor grade on an exam, an unsuccessful experience working on a group project or not meeting one of your goals. In college, like most areas of life, dwelling on an unfavorable experience is not going to better anything. Instead, use those experiences as a way to learn how to improve in the future.
If it is a grade that you are upset about, make a point to meet with your instructor to discuss ways in which you can improve your work in the future. As your life and priorities change, re-evaluating goals is necessary throughout your college experience.
3. Don’t Skip Learning Opportunities
Successful students don’t miss class. With the vast amount of information that college students are learning in their degree program, missing just one class can put you significantly behind. If you know that you will be unavailable to attend class, talk to you teacher in advance to determine if you are able to turn in assignments or complete exams prior to the dates you will be away.
In addition to attending all classes, take advantage of any additional study opportunities that are available to you. If your instructors offer optional study sessions, be sure to attend. These sessions can help you focus your study efforts and better prepare for an exam. In some classes, instructors may not offer a study session, but fellow students may be willing to work in groups to prepare for an exam.
Always complete extra credit if it is offered as part of a class. Even if you don’t think you need it, extra credit could add a buffer in case you have an unsuccessful assignment in the future.
4. Don’t Procrastinate
In college, procrastination is the enemy. Successful college students create and stick to a schedule that is conducive to all areas of their life – school, work and personal life. Keeping a detailed weekly planner can help you identify when homework and study sessions can be held.
Utilize the free time you may have in-between classes to review notes or start assignments. You may be surprised how much extra time you actually have while you’re on campus. It is also a good idea to work on the most difficult or time consuming tasks first. Getting these tasks done first may free up time you would have wasted by going back and forth between projects.
5. Don’t Stay Quiet
Participation in class will not only make for a more enjoyable college experience, but it will also show your instructor that you are engaged and interested in what you are learning. Participation in and out of the classroom gives you the opportunity to meet new people who can potentially serve as resources for you throughout your college experience and in your future career. College can be one of the best times to build your network. Fellow students, instructors, college staff and community partners are a great place to find valuable connections.
Get involved with college clubs that are organized for students within your degree program. These clubs provide a way to meet new people while learning more about your field of study.
If you’re determined to succeed, put in the hard work, stay positive and enjoy your time as a college student!