College is arguably the best time of your life. You’re young and have freedom like you have never experienced before. You go from living at home with your parents and abiding by their rules and regulations day and night, to living with people your age and being able to venture wherever you like whenever you want without anyone nagging at you. Yes, college is about making some amazing memories, finding your friends for life, and having a lot of fun, but don’t forget that you’re also there to achieve and succeed academically.
Organization starts from before you even begin lectures themselves; you need all the stationery and notebooks. Make sure you get yourself an academic planner. This could be one specifically designed for this purpose, just a standard notebook, a wall calendar, desk calendar or dry wipe weekly planner. Whatever you decide to use, use it. Make sure you know where you need to be, when your deadlines are and any other events. It can be useful to also use digital reminders to keep you organized and so you can check them on the go.
Practice Effective Note Taking
Attending lectures is no good if you aren’t taking in any of the information being taught. You never know what information you are going to need in exams and assignments, so learn how you take notes effectively. Again, this could be digital or written down, but find what works best for you to keep your notes clear and organized. Ask your lecturer if you can record as well as take notes in case there are points missed that may be useful later on. Being able to effectively take notes in lecturers is one of the first steps in achieving success at college.
Perfect Your Language Skills
College has you completing all kinds of assignments and writing specific essays that you might never have come across before. If you want to achieve high grades in all your set tasks, you need to develop your writing skills and grammar, and practice different styles of writing. No matter what your course subject, you can perfect your use of language. Take a college-level English class online and learn how you can improve your writing and composition skills to ensure you are successful in all your assignment.
Find a Routine
You need to find what works best for you. Some people work better when they set their alarm and get up early in the morning when their brain is alert and focused; others come alive at the night-time and are more productive in the evenings. Find a study routine that plays to your strengths so you can be the most productive possible.
Effective Study Space
Not only do you need to find a routine that works for you, but you also need a study space with minimal distractions so you can study effectively. If you are studying in your room, make sure you tidy up beforehand and remove any potential distractions. The library is designed as a study space, and it can be a great place to go if you feel like you need a change of scenery. Some people prefer taking themselves off to a quiet little coffee shop, sticking in their headphones and studying away while sipping a cup of coffee and having a slice of cake. Mixing up your location can be super beneficial in re-boosting your motivation and avoid procrastinating, but finding what works best for you is key.
Don’t Leave it Until the Last Minute
Consistency is key to succeeding in college. Study throughout the term, not just the night before your exam. To learn and remember information effectively, you have to see it, read it or hear it more than once, and the more you are exposed to the information, the more likely you are to remember it.
Yes, you will be working hard. But your brain needs regular breaks to maintain productivity. Concentration can’t last for hours on end; instead, break up short bursts of study with something completely different. Go for a walk, watch a short episode, give your brain breaks to keep you motivated, productive and on the road to success.
The college experience wouldn’t be anything without the social side, but don’t let that impact your academic success.