7 Tips for Success in a College Classroom
No matter how well you performed in high school, starting college can make you feel like you’ve entered an entirely new world. Most students find that they need to alter their strategies in order to reap the most from college classes. There is always room for improvement!
These seven tips can help boost your performance in a college classroom.
Go to class. This tip seems obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many college freshmen neglect to attend class regularly. Because attendance usually is not enforced the way it was in high school, it can be tempting to borrow a friend’s notes or try to catch up independently by following the class syllabus. But you really do need to be present in class, every day. Your instructors will notice, even if attendance isn’t recorded.
Check out your school’s resources. Most colleges actually offer more help than many high schools, if you know where to look. Check with department offices about supportive services such as writing centers, computer labs, tutoring, help for students with learning disabilities, and more.
Study every day. Some high school students manage to succeed by cramming the night before tests, or waiting until the last minute to write those three-page papers. College is an entirely new ballgame, though. Exams are more challenging, and no one can write a twenty-page paper overnight. Set aside time each day for studying, so that you don’t fall behind.
Get organized. On the first day of each class, you will receive a syllabus with topic outlines, test dates, paper deadlines, and more. Record all due dates in an organizer, so that you won’t forget anything as the semester progresses. Of course, keep in mind that dates can change (that’s why attending class is so important).
Stay in touch. Each syllabus will also provide your instructor’s office location and hours, phone number, and email address. Check in regularly to discuss course material and term paper topics. Professors appreciate getting to know their students personally.
Follow up. If you receive an unexpected, low grade on a paper, ask your professor what you could have done differently. When a question is marked wrong on a test, request clarification if you don’t understand what you missed. This is how you learn!
Live a balanced life. In addition to attending classes and devoting yourself to regular study time, remember to stay balanced. Eat a healthy diet, get plenty of sleep, exercise daily, join a few social clubs, and spend some time outdoors. Even the most dedicated students will crash and burn if all they ever do is study. College might just be the best time of your life; work hard, but don’t forget to enjoy it!