Being in college is like stepping into another world for most freshmen. You no longer have the structured life and environment you once had or your parents making sure you do what you’re supposed to do. The thing is, you don’t want to just be a college freshman, you want to be a successful college student, and that takes determination and the few things listed below to accomplish.
Wake Up Before 9 on Weekdays
While it might be tempting to sleep until 10:30 when you have an 11 am class, that’s not the way to be successful. Instead, wake up by nine, and you can have eaten breakfast, exercised, and planned your day or even your week in that short amount of time. You’ve heard the saying the early bird gets the worm? Well, that saying fits college to a tee.
Be Organized/Take Notes
The biggest downfall for many college freshmen is not realizing that they are no longer in high school, where studying and grades came easily. If you aren’t organized in college, then you will get behind and it won’t be long until you’re failing your classes. Make sure you’re organized and have a good quality notes app on your phone from the get-go if you hope to be successful in your first year.
Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help/Get Tutoring
The one thing you should never do is be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Your college has a tutoring center and you should take advantage of it if needed. The last thing you want is to get so far behind, or so immersed in papers that your quality goes lacking and you get a bad grade on everything you turn in. Take advantage of the help offered to college students instead.
Purchase a Planner and Use It
You can get your basic planner at Walmart, Target, or on Amazon, as well as detailed fancy planners if you like that kind of thing. As long as the planner has a calendar and a section to write down what you need to do day-to-day, then it doesn’t matter which kind you buy. A good way to keep classes, meetings, clubs, and assignments sorted and easy to keep up with is to invest in a good pack of colored pens, so everything has a color.
Actually Read the Syllabus for Each Class
The class syllabus really wasn’t intended to be a coffee mug holder for the bedside table. To be a successful college student, you need to really read the syllabus for each class, especially the breakdown of what is due and what will be graded. This is the perfect time for you to break out that new planner. Go through the syllabus and write down important due dates for the semester, the weight the assignment carries, and whether it’s graded or not.
Know When it’s Time to Play and When it’s Time to Study
You’ve been lectured on this one since you were old enough to have a social life, but it bears talking about one more time. Everything is okay when it’s done in moderation, including your social time. You have to know when it’s time to play and when it’s time to study because you no longer have your parents right there to make sure the studying happens. For example, it’s best to study Monday through Friday and then party on Friday and Saturday nights or if you don’t have classes on Friday, you can be social on Thursday nights as well. The point is that you have to strike a balance between studying and playing early in your college career to be successful.
These are just a few tips to help you be the successful college student you and your parents want you to be. Remember, everything in moderation and you’ll be fine.