Summer was sweet, but it’s time for Back-to-School. Graduate student Elizabeth from Jihi Elephant has 10 students habits to ROCK your new semester. Start these mindful habits today to make this your best semester ever–academically and personally!
How can I be more successful in college?
Being a college student is hard. Students are incredibly busy, balancing a million things, and are often struggling. Be it the lack of finances, a poor diet, a ton of homework, or whatever else you can think of, this post provides 10 tips to rock your semester and alleviate your school stress by lessening that overwhelming feeling! So, let’s dive right into the list, shall we?
10 Tips to Rock Your New Semester
1. Take Care of Yourself
One of the most important tips I could ever give to a student is to take care of themselves. When you get busy with school and life, it’s easy to put yourself last. Unfortunately, college students are at risk for a lot of mental health problems. Taking care of yourself can help you to avoid becoming increasingly depressed or anxious.
Taking care of yourself includes a range of things like getting enough sleep, eating right, drinking water, practicing self-care, avoiding binge drinking, exercising, etc. It may seem overwhelming to add all of these things into your schedule. However, if you follow the 10 tips in this post, everything will seem more manageable. For example, if you are practicing good time management and studying ahead of time, getting enough sleep will be easier. Also, drinking water is a piece of cake! Just carry around a water bottle, and you are bound to drink it.
2. Learn About Time Management
Managing your time well is critical in college. If you don’t have any grasp of time management, you are likely to feel overwhelmed, and everything can become hugely chaotic. What proper time management does is help you to prioritize and schedule your to-dos out so that it’s not so overwhelming. I recommend looking into to getting a planner or calendar to help you out.
I also recommend MyHomework. MyHomework is an app that has saved my academic life. Every semester I input my homework into the app, and it works like a to-do list of homework. You can even have it send you reminders to complete a project.
3. Take Notes
Taking notes is essential and will help you to prepare for exams and retain information. Notes may seem tedious and boring, but you’ll come to rely on them. Notes can be as easy as jotting down a few main points from the slides in class, or from your own reading. Regardless of where you take your notes, be sure to take them! Read more on note-taking here.
4. Be Prepared
Being prepared is one of the easiest (yet often overlooked) ways to rock your semester. Simply coming to class with all of your supplies and starting the semester with your required texts can make a dramatic difference. Showing up without your textbook can put you behind, and you’ll play catch-up for twice as long. Coming to class without writing utensils can cost you the opportunity to write down valuable information. Who wants to start the semester by forgetting something important? Double check that you have what you need. It takes only moments and could save you a week of playing catch-up!
5. Complete Your Assignments
One of the easiest ways to pass a class is to do every assignment, regardless of how small. So long as you’ve completed assignments according to the syllabus, you’ll have a hard time failing a class. Sure, this is the bare minimum (and yes, you should go above and beyond the bare minimum), but you have to start somewhere.
6. Join a Study Group
Join a study group. This is something I wish I were able to do! As an online student, it is hard to take advantage of in-person studying groups. There are ways for online students to join study groups, though. Here is one.
If you are on or near campus, joining a studying group is incredibly easy and will make your chances for success skyrocket. Socialization and friendship valuable parts of taking care of yourself, plus they’re a great part of the whole college experience. But a study group can also help you prepare for major exams, look at things from a different perspective, and provide a group of people with whom to share your struggles.
7. Take Advantage of School Resources
Your school most likely provides you with more resources than you’ve realized. Head over to your school’s website and do some research. Look for resources like a writing center, tutors, the library, or even test banks. Do not be afraid of utilizing these resources! After all, yoy’re paying for them as part of your tuition, and they can be incredibly useful.
If you are struggling with a class, get a tutor. If you need a major paper edited, go to the writing center. If you don’t have a printer, head over to the library to print an assignment. Getting familiar with the resources available will surely help you to succeed!
8. Ask Questions
I can’t stress this enough. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! If you are confused or unsure about an assignment, and you’ve read the syllabus and other resources provided by your professor, ask another student or study buddy. If the student doesn’t know, approach your professor after class, stop by during their office hours, schedule an appointment, or shoot them an email! It’s always better to ask a question and get clarification than to complete an assignment incorrectly.
Do not forget to socialize. Socializing kind of falls under taking care of yourself and joining a study group, but it deserves to be its own item on this list. Being a college student is often busy and overwhelming. It is not uncommon for students to isolate themselves because of their intense schedule and list of assignments. However, doing this can easily lead to depression.
One way to combat this is to have a strong support system. Working social time into your schedule can do wonders for your mental health, making the hustle of college that much easier. To be clear, I’m not suggesting that friends are a “cure” for depression, but they can help you weather the storm when life becomes overwhelming. Even a weekly get-together with one or two friends can make the difference.
When you read the word “study,” you are probably thinking about flashcards the night before a big test. And while, yes, intense study sessions can be valuable, the bulk of your studying should be done before the eve of a test. Cramming may help in the short term, but you won’t retain that information for finals or major exams.
Check out Alice’s post on using your Bullet Journal to prepare for exams!
In order to be successful this semester, you need to be creating those notecards as you cover the information in class and studying them in your in-between time. In-between time is that time you spend waiting in line, in a waiting room, before class, etc. One way to make in-between time studying easier is to load your notecards onto your phone. One of my favorite apps for doing this is Quizlet. Quizlet makes it so you don’t have to lug around stacks of paper notecards, and it gives you more studying information. You can even share notecards with friends and former students!
That’s it, friend. I hope these 10 tips will help you rock your semester! Want more information about having a successful semester check out these posts or these helpful printables. Plus, you can drop me a comment below with your favorite studying resource or tip!