Students take the seriousness of their education differently. You might be a perfectionist who is gunning for that 4.0. You might be a student who wants to do just enough to skate by, seeing the other purposes for college outside of academics as more worthy of your time. You are likely a student who is somewhere in between these two spectrums: wanting to do enough academically to have a successful college career, but also wanting to have a fun four years and grow in areas outside of academics.
It’s a difficult balance, but going into it with a plan will certainly help. Here are some tips to help you succeed in college academically:
Keep a planner
Every year I start off with a planner. Some weeks I totally forget about it and completely neglect it. These are the weeks where everything feels frazzled and I get the feeling of being super behind. Having your class times and assignment due dates written down where you can easily see it all in one place is extremely helpful to keep yourself from feeling overwhelmed, and it’s helpful in getting everything done.
Schedule time to go to the library with friends
Doing work at the library with friends is not only fun, but can be extremely motivating. Studying together, whether you have the same classes or are on totally different academic tracks is helpful: you can ask each other questions, vent about classes, and most importantly, get work done. I always find staying focused and getting work done is much easier when the people around me are also getting their work done.
Go. To. Class.
This one is obvious, and is going to be an example in every college tip article, but that’s because so many people simply don’t go to class. Class is the reason you’re in college. It’s easy “gimme points”, and since most professors take attendance, every class you miss will hurt your overall grade. It will not always be easy, especially if the class is at an inconvenient time or you aren’t particularly fond of it. But this is why you are here. Make the most of going to class.
Busy work is the difference of a letter grade
Silly little assignments that seem like a waste of your time are going to be plentiful, especially your freshman year. Do them. They may only be a few points worth of your grade and skipping them may seem like it won’t hurt you that bad. Once you make the decision to skip one, the rest will get easier and easier to also skip. Before you know it you’ll lose 5% off your overall grade, which can be a lot.
Procrastination is fine, but don’t expect to not be stressed
I cannot in good faith tell anyone to not procrastinate. I have procrastinated my whole life. I can’t tell you why, I just rely on the pressure of looming deadlines to get my work done. You can, in fact, get through college successfully while procrastinating. But it will create way more stress than you need in an already stressful environment. You can procrastinate successfully, but that doesn’t mean you should. If you are going to though, don’t feel guilty about it. As long as you get your work done and can create work you are proud of, procrastinate on.