It's in the Syllabus

The month of August always seems to happen in a blink of an eye, summer comes to an end and the ideas of spending days by the beach slowly begin to turn into the never ending stress that comes with being a college student. As students begin to flood into the endless college towns and cities, it’s often easy to overlook the fact that for some of these students, this will be their first time on their own and the beginning of their first year of college. This fall I will be entering my senior year of undergrad.  As my senior year rapidly approaches I thought I’d share some things I’ve learned over the past three years that help me to avoid unneeded stress, on top of the already stressful semester. Here are some of the things I've learned over the past three years:

Get to Know Your Professors!

This may sound intimidating, but by getting to know your professors you're creating a connection with someone who has the potential to help make the most out of your college experience. Professors can help get you that research position you’ve been dying to have or write a kick ass recommendation letter to the endless job applications you’ll end up applying to. Chances are if you never set foot in your professor’s office and ask for a recommendation letter they’re going to say no because they have no idea who you are.

Write, Don't Type.

I’m sure that by now you probably have a grasp on how you learn best, and have your study habits locked down. That being said, the idea of being able to bring your laptop to class, open up a google docs and just type out your lecture notes sounds like a piece of cake, and I'm sure for some this is what works for them. I have found that it is much easier to focus on the lecture when I’m not tempted by the latest Urban Outfitters sale or funny dog videos.

Make Friends with Your Classmates!

While this one may sound like a given, it’s also extremely helpful to have people you can study for exams and do homework with, especially if you’re completely lost on a subject. Your classmates may be able to explain it in a way you never thought of and who knows you could end up making a friend for life!

Manage Your Time Wisely..

I can’t stress how important this is, college class schedules can be weird and often create gaps of free time between classes that some may take for granted when they should be taking advantage of it. If you have an hour or two between classes, start assignments you know you can finish in that time instead of waiting until classes are done for the day. By doing this you’re able to avoid feeling overwhelmed with assignments and the lack of time you have until they’re due. To keep yourself from falling behind and biting off more than you can chew in a single day, get a planner. Personally I have found that through the use of a planner I can determine what I can do and what is due. One thing that I also highly recommend is getting a monthly wall calendar and putting it above your desk, this will help you visualize the upcoming weeks and the assignments and exams that you’ll have and also serves as a reminder of what you need to do.

Another useful tip is the use of to do lists, they help remind me which assignments I need to prioritize, while also making me refer back to the syllabus because there's nothing worse than hearing your professor say that “it was in the syllabus”. Time management and planning out your week are so important because it allows you to avoid unneeded stress and help to show you when you have time to do things other than homework.

Keep Yourself Organized

There’s nothing worse than waking up 10 minutes before class and doing Olympic sprints to be on time just to realize you grabbed your English notebook instead of calculus. There are so many ways to avoid this, from packing your bag the night before to color coding your notebooks for each class! I’ve found the easiest way to avoid this is to get a 5 subject notebook that you can use for all your classes.

Do the Extra Credit!!!

Always do the extra credit if any is offered even if you have an A in the course, you can never count on that to be your final grade because you could fail the final. Extra credit also can help change your grade from an A- to an A which will help your GPA.

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