Going from high school to college is a big step! Here are 5 tips from a current college student to help make your freshman year a success:
- Learn to manage your time.
College classes are arranged differently than high school. You will have gaps of time between classes. Plan each day’s schedule carefully and use the gaps between classes for something productive – study in the library, work at a campus job, join a club or activity.
- Prepare before class.
At the beginning of the semester, you will receive a class syllabus for each course outlining the requirements – readings, assignments, exams dates, etc. Mark all of these dates on your calendar. Use the class syllabus to look ahead at the upcoming material for the week. If you go to class prepared, you will get more out of the class, and save time when studying.
- Reflect on what you learned.
Learn how to take notes (such as Cornell notes). Soon after attending class and taking notes, recopy or rewrite a summary of your notes to better organize your thoughts. This study skill will reinforce what you just learned. Do you still have questions about topics that were covered? Write these down for the next class, or ask your professor during his or her office hours.
- Find your study space.
Do you study best in a quiet environment like the library? Or do you prefer some background noise or activity like a campus coffee shop? Find a place you can study effectively. DO NOT study in sitting or lying in your bed. You want to separate sleep and study!
- Be honest with yourself.
Don’t make promises to yourself that you cannot keep. Learn how to say “no” to going out with friends when you have an upcoming exam. Don’t promise yourself “I’ll study when I get back” if you know you will not have the energy to do that.
Use your calendar to record any tasks you need to complete as you finish high school.