It's a new college year, and whether you're a freshman, sophomore, junior or senior, you want it to be a good year. A college campus, however, is full of distractions — distractions that can affect your study habits and class attendance. But there are simple strategies to help you become a more successful student and make the grade.
1. Prioritize Your Life
Whether it's your time or your homework, it's important to prioritize your life so important tasks are completed first. When there’s a lot on your plate, you can easily become overwhelmed and overworked. If you learn how to prioritize, you’re able to get everything on your to do list completed. Create a schedule, whether it's with an old-fashioned day planner or the calendar on your smartphone or tablet. Keep a record of homework and projects, and assign time limits to avoid spending too much time on a task.
2. Get Organized
Not only should you prioritize your time, you need to get organized. If you don't have a system for keeping up with paperwork and books, you could waste a lot of time looking for your belongings. It doesn’t matter if you live at home, in a dorm or an off-campus apartment, make sure you keep your study area de-cluttered and organized. This can improve concentration, motivation and it’ll be easier to locate items.
3. Don’t Take on Too Much
Understandably, you want to finish college as soon as possible. But while you might be tempted to take five or six classes a semester, be realistic with your time and mental capacity. Juggling a large course load can get you through college sooner, but it’ll also leads to burnout, and you may not be able to devote as much time to studying, which can affect your grade. Be sensible and don't overwhelm yourself.
4. Live off-campus
Living on campus can complete the college experience. But unfortunately, living on campus is too much of a distraction for some young adults. Rather than studying, they spend more time partying and going to school events. Give campus living a try, but if you find there's too many distractions and you can't concentrate, consider renting a room off-campus or moving back home if your parents live nearby.
5. Get to Know Your Professors
Rather than sit in the back of the classroom and hide, get to know your college professors. Come to class early and enjoy a few minutes of small talk with your professors, and take advantage of their office hours. Additionally, if your professor is a member or the head of an organization you’re interested in, consider joining and getting involved.
6. Take Breaks
Good study habits and discipline are crucial to succeeding in college. But this doesn't mean you have to work yourself into an early grave. College isn't only about learning and getting a degree, it's also a good experience and an opportunity to explore the world without your parents. So don't forget to stop and smell the roses. You don't have to have your head in a books 24 hours a day. Take breaks and enjoy leisure activities to rejuvenate your mind and maintain your sanity.
7. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
One of the worst things you can do is compare yourself to others. So what if a friend’s able to graduate early, or she’s getting better grades than you. All you can do is your best. Comparing yourself to others can stir unnecessary competition and kill your motivation.
A college schedule can be brutal and overwhelming, but you can succeed. The above tips apply regardless of your year or when you're scheduled to graduate. What are other strategies to be a more successful student?