There are so many tips out there about things that will get you through college. When I first started college, I had no idea what key things I needed to be a successful student and also have a life outside of my studies. However, after six years of undergraduate and graduate schooling, I have been able to compile a retrospective list of the main things that helped me achieve everything I wanted to in my college years without working myself to tears. So, here is a list of the things that will get you through college as told by someone who made it through both successfully and in one piece.
1. Rate My Professor
Of all of the things that will get you through college, the website RateMyProfessor.com is number one in my book. This website was by far the most helpful tool I had in college since it is a compilation of student reviews of teachers. I went to a very large school, so I was able to compare reviews for a large number of teachers and would only schedule teachers that had decent reviews. If you have the ability to do this (i.e. your schedule isn't planned by your advisor), I strongly suggest spending a solid chunk of time planning a good schedule so that you can enjoy your semester without the stress of dealing with bad teachers!
2. Office Hours
Another tool that really helped me in college was office hours. If I felt I was struggling with an assignment or a topic in class, I would attend the professor's office hours. This helps in two ways; one, the professor is usually very helpful because they want you to succeed in their class, and two, if the professor knows you are coming in for extra help they are often more apt to help you out if your grade needs to be bumped up a little at the end of the semester.
In addition to professors' office hours, the TAs' (teacher's assistants') office hours are also very helpful. If I couldn't make the professor's office hours or if I knew the TA was going to be grading a particular assignment, I went to them instead. TAs are usually grad students themselves and tend to be very helpful, as they were in your shoes not long before.
Every class has a syllabus, which is given to you at the beginning of the semester. Keep these in a safe place and refer back to them often! These will tell you when your exams are, how much all your assignments are worth, and contact information for your professor. These come in handy especially at the end of the semester when you are calculating what you need to get on the final to reach your desired grade.
If you do happen to wind up in a class that is way over your head, there are usually tutors available on campus. If you struggle in a particular area, find a tutor who can help you through your class!
6. A Loud Alarm Clock
My first semester of college I found myself sleeping through some of my early classes so I invested in a loud alarm clock that also vibrated my bed. If you have a hard time waking up, you might want to get one of these so you don't miss your classes or exams!
7. Your Friends
Last, but certainly not least, friends are a wonderful way to de-stress in college. Sometimes I would get really stressed about my classes, but hanging out with my friends would put everything in perspective and remind me that college isn't just about the work -- it's also about the experience and lasting friendships. So while schoolwork is important, don't neglect this other very important part of college!
I was able to succeed in college using these seven tools. What other tips do you have for surviving college?