Tips for a Successful Semester

College is about a lot of different things—meeting people, being exposed to new opportunities, finding your passions, etc. However, when it comes down to it, we are at college for one main reason: to pass our classes and earn our degree. These are some tips to help you get ahead and ace your courses for the semester!

  1. Find a buddy

Everyone needs a friend, and this is particularly true when it comes to our college experiences. At the beginning of your class, you should try to branch out and meet other people that are also taking the course. Not only will this extend your social life and build your college network, but you’ll also have someone to lean on during the rougher parts of the semester. Having somebody to study with or ask for help on homework assignments will build your overall understanding of the material. If you happen to miss a class period, you’ll also have someone to ask questions and get notes from, so that you never actually miss a day. Besides, having another person to hang out with during the class period will make the semester a lot more fun! 

  1. Take good notes

Good notes are a crucial part of studying and passing exams. “Good” notes are not everything that the professor writes down; they are notes that you understand and you are able to navigate. So draw boxes and squiggly lines in your notebooks, use cursive or big text for headings, write jokes and puns in the margins that help you remember what something means. Use highlighters or colored pens for vocabulary words and things that you need to study. When I was in high school, I learned that drawing comic strips in history class helped me learn the material better than writing names and dates ever could. Overall, your notes belong to you. As long as you understand what everything means and you are able to study, it doesn’t matter how silly, pretty, or colorful your notes are—you will be better able to learn and remember the things that will help you when the exams come around.  

  1. No procrastination

I know that you’ve heard this one before, from high school teachers, principals, parents, professors, and everyone else that does anything education. Despite what everyone says, we always want to believe that the ‘do date’ is the ‘due date.’ However, I’m going to say it again: no procrastination. Staying ahead on your studying and homework will make you feel more productive. It will free up your schedule in case you find yourself with less time than you originally anticipated. It will also give you time to find help if you are having a hard time with a particular subject. I know it’s difficult to make yourself work when you don’t feel like you need to. However, you will learn to appreciate yourself when you don’t get stuck inside doing a last-minute project while your friends are going out to have some fun. 

  1. Show up to class

Yes, there are days when you are sick and can barely get out of bed. There are days when you are stressed and you have so much to do that you think you might explode. And there are days when the alarm clock goes off and you simply don’t have any desire to ‘adult’ for the day. One of the most important things that you can do in college, no matter what the circumstances are, is go to class. You will learn more listening to the professor than you will learn from the book. You never know when you will miss a pop quiz or a crucial piece of information to help with your assignments. The best thing you can do for yourself is show up, even if the professor is boring, rude, or hard to understand.

These four tips will help you pass even the most difficult courses throughout your college career. You will be able to stay on top of your work and learn the material in depth, so that it stays with you whenever you may need it. Good luck with your courses, and I hope you have a great semester!