Based on the perspective of a college student who just wrapped up his first year in college at CSU Channel Islands, here a couple of tips you can use to make your college experience more tranquil if you are heading into your first semester in college.
- Procrastination is the Enemy
I know that over the past few years, it has been a central theme that procrastination is evil and can ruin the lives of students, but for some strange reason regardless of all of the signs and other negative side effects that out school systems show students on a daily basis, the message still has not full set in just yet. Constantly everyday students are putting themselves through more stress that could have been avoided if they would have just done their assignments when they received them beforehand. Don’t procrastinate. Before hoping of YouTube to watch videos or going on Twitter to subtweet about your friends, get your work done. There is no worse feeling in the world than receiving a grade on an assignment you know you could have done better on if you would have set aside the time to do it.
- Be Wise about How you Spend Your Money
Being in a society where spending money is much easier than acquiring it, the first instinct most students have upon receiving their financial aid is to SPEND IT when their first instinct should be to SAVE IT. I’ve seen way to many student spend their financial aid which should be going towards things they need for school on miscellaneous things that they don’t need such as new cellphones or even gaming consoles. If it isn’t going to be used towards your education then you shouldn’t be investing it at the moment. Save your money for things you may need.
- Look up Your Professors Before Enrolling in Your Classes
As much as we would like to think that our United States college system is flawless and that every teacher is amazing at their job this is sadly not always the case when it comes to meeting the individual student’s needs. Every teachers teaching style is different just as every student has a different way of learning and retaining the information they learn. To try and see which teachers best fit with your learning style, ask friends who have previously taken the class about the professor or even look up the professor at www.RateMyProfessors.com . Using these resources and getting a rough idea of what you are getting yourself into can make a huge difference and can help you along your educational journey.
- Make Friends in Your Classes
Having friends as a reference can be an essential tool you can use to get extra help if you need it. I am not saying to make friends that will distract you during class; I am just saying that having someone around to help you out when you need it can be helpful. Study groups (if used efficiently) can be EXTREMLY helpful if you are enrolled in a class that has dense or difficult material that one may not grasp easily.
- Learn to take Notes Efficiently
When taking notes in class, students should learn to take notes efficiently in order for them to be able to create the notes for reference later as well as participate and pay attention to what the professor is saying. I know it sounds hard but it really isn’t if you know how to do it. One skill that can help accomplish this is, rather than write down EVERYTHING that the PowerPoint says or what the professor is saying, try and write an overview of the lesson. Write it in a way that you will be able to understand and that you can easily reference when studying. Use shortcuts when writing your notes such as shorter versions of words.
“Government” = “Gov”
“United States” = “U.S”
“Psychology” = “Psych”
“Political” = “Poli”
These shortcuts can make your note taking more efficient and much faster and there is countless other shortcuts that you can create on your own.
- Take Advantage of your Professors Office Hours
In most classes that you take on campus, professors set aside time in their busy schedules for time dedicated towards helping students. This time is known as office hours and most students do not take advantage of it as much as they should be. These hours are important in the sense that it can give students the one on one time that they may need to solidify the content of the lesson.
- Be Mindful when Making Your Class Schedule
When making your class schedule it is important to keep in mind what you can actually handle. It is in the nature of new students to want to take on a full load of classes their first year of college. Their intentions are good but they must also realize that college is a completely different world from High School. The workload that comes with a class is on a whole other level than what is expected at the High School level. Keep this in mind when making your schedule. Also try and spread out your schedule so that you have time to relax or take breaks in between classes as well as time to work on homework.
If you have any other tips feel free to post them below! Any feedback to help out our future college graduates is greatly appreciated!