How to Ace College and Have a Fun
Balancing all the responsibilities that come underway during college life can be challenging. The right mindset can help anyone to go through it.
College is supposed to be the best years of your life, but if you’re struggling to keep up with classes, homework, and everything else that comes with living in the dorms or having an apartment on campus, it might feel more like torture than anything else. You aren’t alone if you’re worried about balancing all of your responsibilities—even college students who have been out of high school for years have trouble staying on top of their workload without burning out. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Here are tips to help you ace college and still have fun doing it:
1) Go to Class Early
When you get to class early, you can set up ahead of time, make sure that your workspace is adequate, and find out how late professors tend to run. And if you don’t end up using some of those supplies, they’ll be there waiting for you when class starts. Going to class early also means that you'll start off feeling energized instead of frazzled. Plus, you'll have plenty of time to chat with classmates before things get too busy. For example, if one person has a great idea for a group project, it's much easier to come up with a plan together rather than coming up with one on your own as soon as the professor enters the room!
2) Don't Be Afraid to Ask Questions
A lot of people worry that asking questions during class will show them up or cause other people to think less of them. If you're worried about looking dumb, just remember that most people go through this same thing at some point. Your professors want you to succeed and want to do what they can to help. So take advantage of office hours, send email messages when you need clarification on something from a lecture, and ask lots of questions - your teachers won't mind so long as you do it respectfully. Asking lots of questions shows initiative and demonstrates your interest in the material.
3) Study Smarter, Not Harder
It may seem counterintuitive, but many students find that studying smarter is easier than studying harder. A common myth is that more time spent studying means better grades. But in reality, more time just leads to unnecessary stress and anxiety. It's important not to be discouraged if you don't immediately get something on your first try. It takes repetition for new information to be encoded into your memory! Consider essay writing services when you need help with research or editing. They have experience working with many different types of papers, so there's no reason to feel intimidated or like you can't ask for help. Your success depends on how much effort you put in, so think smart and study smarter!
4) Set Goals
In high school, you probably didn’t worry much about setting goals. But in college, it’s even more important. While it’s good to have a go-with-the-flow attitude sometimes, don't neglect your goals. If you don't know what you want out of life right now, that's fine - but spend some time thinking about it! You'll be more productive if you have a sense of direction. An excellent way to get a sense of direction is to create SMART goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. That means your goal should have a specific purpose that you can measure with numbers and statistics. It should be achievable within the given time frame and within your abilities. It should also be realistic for you to achieve it. Finally, it must be timely enough that if you miss the deadline you'll still be able to complete the task by another time period. Once you've created your goals, try to break them down into smaller, more manageable pieces. Then all you have to do is tackle one step at a time!
5) Build Relationships with Faculty and Staff
When you get to college, don't forget that professors are people too. They have thoughts and feelings outside of the classroom and they deserve respect. By building relationships with your professors, you'll be showing them that they matter to you as a person as well as an educator. Make sure to thank them for their time and tell them how you appreciate their instruction. This is a great idea for anyone, but it's particularly important for athletes and those with other commitments. As a member of a team, you'll want to build relationships with your coach. Coaches often have a tough job juggling many different responsibilities and they deserve recognition for the hard work they do on your behalf. The same goes for advisors, deans, tutors, etc. It's always a good idea to show them you care and that you're grateful for the help they provide. It won't take long before you'll have developed a network of professionals ready to help and support you throughout your college career. Don't be afraid to reach out, these people want to help you succeed!
6) Eat Healthy Food
It’s no secret that junk food is bad for you, but did you know that eating healthy makes you smarter? Not only does eating healthy foods give your brain the nutrients it needs to function well, they actually make your brain work better. That means not only will you get better grades, but you'll feel better while getting them! A good diet is important for any student trying to stay focused, but it's especially important for athletes and others who may need additional energy. Stay away from processed snacks (you should already be doing this!) and focus on leafy greens, whole grains, protein-rich foods, fruits, and vegetables. Focus on fueling your body correctly (with nutrient-dense foods) instead of relying solely on caffeine or sugary drinks to give you energy when you need it. Remember that it’s never too late to change your habits, even if you’ve spent years neglecting your health. One small change today could mean a huge difference in the future.
7) Avoid Procrastination!
College life isn't easy, and it's easy to become overwhelmed. There will be days where you'll feel like you have to cram in everything because you're falling behind. It's natural to want to procrastinate, but this just makes things worse. To avoid this feeling of being overwhelmed, set your priorities straight. Focus on the few things that really matter the most and leave the rest for later. It's tempting to try and get it all done, but that's unrealistic. Instead, choose a small number of tasks and focus on them with your full attention. Find ways to reward yourself after you finish each one! You'll be more likely to stay motivated this way. Plus, you'll have less stress and anxiety when it comes to deadlines.
8) Join a Club
When you're in college, it's easy to get caught up in your classes and focus only on academics. But don't forget that college is all about experiences! One of my favorite aspects of college was joining clubs. I learned so much from being around a bunch of other students who shared similar interests. You'll meet lots of people who are passionate about music, travel, sports, etc. It's a great way to explore your interests and learn more about the world. And it doesn't hurt that you'll have fun, too! Another perk of joining a club is that it'll be easy to make friends with others who share your interests. It's a perfect opportunity to explore your creative side, express yourself, and develop meaningful relationships.
9) Remember to Keep in Touch with Family and Friends!
It's easy to get sucked into the college bubble and neglect your loved ones. Try to carve out time on a regular basis to call, Skype, chat, or send a quick email. It'll keep you grounded and remind you of the people who care about you the most. It's also helpful for them to know what's going on in your life and offer advice as needed. Family and friends can give us much-needed perspective and support. Don't let them slip away! Send a card or visit home every now and then. Once you graduate, they'll be waiting to celebrate with you!
10) Get a Part-time job
While there are tons of benefits to college, it's expensive! Don't let your student loans get you down. If you're in need of a little extra cash, you can try getting a part-time job. With a full course load, clubs, social life, etc., it's easy to get behind financially in college. If that happens, consider working on campus or applying for work-study opportunities at your school. But don't forget about non-academic jobs that are available in your area as well!
The college has its ups and downs, but it's all worth it in the end. Whether you're graduating next year or many years from now, take these tips to heart. They're tried and true, and if you follow them, you'll ace college.