With another school year beginning, students are heading back to college and most of them are ready to hit the ground running. Hopefully, these tips to success will help you start off the school year on a positive note.
1. Make good use of your syllabi.
Class syllabi are going to be one of your best friends in college. Syllabi usually include all of the rules your instructor has set out for your class, information about office hours, the descriptions and due dates of most or all assignments, and likely other information that your instructor believes you’ll find useful. Knowing your syllabus like the back of your hand will help prevent assignments and exams from sneaking up on you.
2. Set reasonable study goals (and follow through with them!).
I’m not talking about hardcore 4 hour study sessions, in fact I would suggest not leaning too much on those. Rather, set reasonable, regularly scheduled study goals and follow them! For example, try briefly (say 20–30 minutes) reviewing each course’s work each weekend. This will help keep your mind fresh and make it less likely you’ll forget that important concept during a crazy weekend. Plus this reduces the chance that you’ll have to stressfully cram for exams!
If you’re looking for more advice about study habits, here’s a more in-depth article!
3. Get connected early.
Three things you’ll want to do quickly at the beginning of a school year are: determine whom your professors and Teaching Assistants are and become acquainted, identify your social group, and whether or not you’ll have time for a job on the side. Being on good terms with professors and TAs is nothing but beneficial, and reaching out even a little bit can go a long way. If you are searching for work the beginning of the year is the best time to look largely because that’s when most positions will be hiring—this is especially true for internships. Lastly, this is the perfect time of year to make new friends because of how much free time you will have compared to the rest of the academic year. It is more difficult to meet new people months into school after everyone has buckled down and developed a routine. Speaking of routine…
4. Establish healthy habits through routine.
If this list were in order of importance, this would be at the top. Establishing a healthy routine helps you set yourself up for success in all aspects of your life. The biggest benefit you’ll receive from a fine-tuned routine is having time for all of the things you need, which can become difficult when attempting to balance classes, homework, studying, perhaps a job, and maintaining your social life/sanity. This can relate to study habits, a sleep schedule that keeps you refreshed, eating healthily and regularly—sometimes it might be tough to squeeze in lunch or dinner without proper planning, and finding time to complete all of your course work. Getting into a rhythm and having a routine to stick to can be very important, especially during very busy weeks.
Many campuses offer many useful resources to their students at no cost. Writing centers, math learning centers, and professor office hours are three wonderful resources that can help you with assignments and studying. Tutors and professors are there to help you, don’t be shy about seeking out their help.
Did you find this helpful? Do you have tips of your own? If so, leave a comment and let us know. Have a great school year!