It’s back-to-school time, and college campuses are gearing up for the year ahead. If you’re attending college for the first time, you’re probably wondering how a student can have a successful first year. If you attended last year, you probably already know some areas you could change to boost your college success. Make this year the best it can be by deciding ahead of time to follow these steps.
Find a Place to Study
Don’t try to study in your dorm room. A lot of students assume they’ll have long, quiet hours in their rooms to focus on schoolwork, but that’s possibly the worst place to try to concentrate. Even if your roommate is quiet, the person across the hall probably isn’t. When there’s something going on outside your room, curiosity will demand you check it out. When your friends across the hall have their door open and a steaming pizza, it’s too easy to pop in for a visit.
Instead, identify places with no distractions. Library corners are great places for uninterrupted study. Many college buildings have comfortable seating in their lobbies and very little traffic after hours. Some commons areas offer serene learning environments most times of the day.
Go to Class & Participate
When you realize you can skip class, you’re going to be tempted to do so. If you worked late, you may want to stay in bed. When friends are going somewhere exciting, it sounds like more fun to tag along than to sit through a lecture, but create good habits from the very beginning. Your professor may post class notes online, but that’s not the same as getting access to the full content.
Students learn better when they’re engaged. Sit near the front of the room and participate in class discussions to get the most benefit out of attendance. Don’t just go to class. Be sure to turn in all your assignments. Even if you finish something late, a lower grade is better than a zero.
Take Care of Your Body
This may be your first extended stay away from home. No one will make you go to bed or tell you how to eat right. Your mom won’t know if you stay out too late or party too much. If you want college success, you have to take responsibility for your own well-being.
Make healthy food choices and exercise to stay at a healthy body weight. Get enough sleep so you can concentrate in class.
Use On-Campus Resources
Your college has resources to teach you how to succeed in college. Familiarize yourself with the library, career services, and your campus’s center for academic support. Each one will have different resources you’ll find to improve your long-term success. Writing counselors, career advisors, and computer labs can offer free information that makes all the difference.