College living is very different from high school. You have to adjust to student life while figuring out how to be an adult. If you’re trying to get everything in order for that first day of college here are a few things to keep in mind.
You might be thinking, “a planner, that’s ridiculous.” You don’t have to get a planner notebook and pencil everything in, but you should consider having a planner app on your phone or even just putting important dates on your phone calendar.
In college the excuse, “I forgot,” no longer works. You are responsible for your time, and that includes random things on your syllabus that the teacher never talked about but expected you to get done anyways.
There are tons of committees and societies meeting everywhere on campus at any given time. Find one that sounds interesting and get involved. It could be as simple as joining the pre-law society so you’ll have friends to study for the LSAT with. Or if you’re feeling a little more outgoing, join the service committee and help the community. There is something for everyone, you just have to pay attention to know what’s going on around you.
Sit Towards the Front
Some people will tell you that you have to sit in the front of the class. I don’t think it’s necessary to be a front row Joe, but you definitely should try and sit in the front half of the classroom. The further back you sit the harder it is to see the board/powerpoint and hear the professor.
Also, when you sit in the back there is a greater chance of someone sitting in front of you that is either watching a movie or scrolling Facebook. As fun as that may sound it is incredibly distracting and you will get next to nothing out of that class period.
Get to Know Your Professor
If you’re in a class of 100 people this might be difficult, but if at all possible try and get to know your professor. If they know your name, that is wonderful. Check to see if they have office hours, and if they do, take advantage of those.
If you have a large project that is due, make time to go visit with them. This could mean the difference of an entire letter grade. Also, there will come a time when you will need letters of recommendation. You’ll want your professors to know who you are so they can provide you with a good recommendation.
Use the Teacher Assistant
If your professor ever says, “If you need help with anything contact the TA,” you better be sure to get that TA’s information. They are literally being paid to help you so use what’s available to you. This is a really great resource if you are unsure about the material that you will be learning and think you might need some extra help.
Don’t Skip Class
It’s one thing to miss class because you were sick or had to go out of town. It’s a whole different matter if you’re playing hooky just because you can. Just missing one or two classes can put you drastically behind in your studies. Some classes will cover 50 pages of information in one lecture.
At the beginning of the semester try and swap phone numbers with the person you’re sitting next to. This way if you do have to miss class you can shoot them a message and ask them what happened in class that day. You can also talk with them beforehand about taking notes for you if you know that you’re going to have to miss for something.
Take A Break
Learn the importance of balance. Schedule time to study, but also remember when it is time to relax and unwind. Going out to see a movie with your friends on Friday night isn’t a bad thing. You’ll be happier and able to focus better if you take time to detox as well as to study.
College doesn’t have to be the worst four years of your life. Sure, it can be stressful and difficult but you can have a ton of fun and be studious. Just remember to stay balanced. This is your life. You’re in charge of it now, and you’re doing great!