Searching for Success


Here are some tips for academic success in college

Bennett Leckrone / For The Post

With its beautiful outdoor landscapes and upbeat culture, Ohio University can be a distracting place. As a freshman, it’s easy to forget the real reason you’re paying the big bucks to be here: school.

While it may be tempting to spend all hours of the day studying (or to spend no time studying at all), Student Success Advisor Katie Thompson said time management was the most important thing freshmen should do to get good grades.

“I think the greatest success is found in time management for students,” Thompson said.  “So coming in ready to plan, using some sort of planner or calendar is really helpful.”

Planning all of your assignments across all of your classes can get tedious, but luckily professors will give you a syllabus outlining everything they’re planning to do that semester.

Professors are also required by OU to provide office hours, or times when you can go hang out with them and ask them questions. Thompson encouraged students to get to know their faculty members.

“I think students are highly successful when they partner with their faculty,” Thompson said. “Regularly talking with their faculty and going to office hours.”

According to an article by USA Today, the average college student spends about 17 hours a week studying, so you’ll need a place to do that. Remember that there’s a huge library and an Academic Advancement Center that exists, so be sure to take advantage of on-campus resources.

Of course, studying will be a whole lot easier if you take notes in class. Whether you’re taking notes with a pen and paper or on a laptop, well organized and dated notes help students study and succeed in classes.

Classroom Success (Cursive)

Emma Howells | FILE

Landen Stafford, a junior studying English, writes in cursive. He learned how to write cursive in grade school but only started consistently using it in college to take notes more quickly.

In a previous Post report, Sue Fletcher, the assistant director of the Academic Advancement Center, said notes alone won’t help students succeed, but instead using both active note-taking and review.

“Unless you have a photographic memory, and you take really beautiful notes, staring at your notes is not going to help you learn (the material) nearly as well as if you do something active with them,” Fletcher said. If you aren’t sure where to start with notes, Ohio University’s website offers advice on notetaking.

Not all students take such a tedious approach to classes, though. Thomas Linscott, a 2017 OU alumnus who studied finance, said students should “chill” when it comes to classes.

“Just show up,” Linscott said. “As long as you show up, nobody’s going to fail you.”

Of course, showing up is half the battle. High school seniors sometimes wake up at obscene hours of the morning to attend class, but by the time they’re college freshmen, regularly attending a 9 a.m. class can seem daunting.

Whenever you’re tempted to skip class, just remember that you’re technically losing more than $20 for the class if it meets three times a week and more than $30 if it meets just twice a week.

Of course, not all students at OU think the academics are important. Nick Stellato, a rising senior studying finance, said students shouldn’t worry about their academic success, but instead they focus on finding their interests and goals.

“Academic success is just gonna be academic success,” Stellato said. “It’s not gonna lead to success in other areas of your life.”

It’s natural for freshmen to be nervous, Thompson said. She encourages first-year students to embrace change and remember that there are always faculty members available to help. “A lot of change is happening in that first year,” Thompson said. “This change can be hard. I always tell them to not be afraid to ask for help, to utilize resources that are available and to connect with their faculty.”

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Development by: Taylor Johnston / Digital Production Editor

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