Starting college is a big step. New lecture halls, new teachers, new courses, new faces, so much novelty that it is scary. And it can be easy to get lost in this often welcoming but sometimes inhospitable environment. The first year at college sees students coming from high school and fumbling to find their bearings in a much more demanding environment, especially since you have to get into the swing of things right away.
Classes begin, the material accumulates, and can become unmanageable without a suitable work method and organization. Statistics show a 38% success rate for students entering their first year at college. Hence the importance of adapting quickly to this new college ecosystem. But don’t worry too much; the purpose of this article is not to torment you further. So, without further ado, let’s dive into this blog and learn some of our tips to start college successfully.
1. Attend your classes
College classes do not require attendance, and it can be tempting to skip a few sessions. This is the trap of college, and it can be very dangerous. Missing a few classes is obviously not fatal, but avoid being absent too often, or you may end up with incomplete or non-existent grades. Attending class will also ensure that you don’t miss any essential tips that only attendance in class guarantees and that can significantly impact your exams.
Don’t wait too long before getting to work. Between numerous outings and non-obligatory courses, the temptation is great to let the days and weeks slip by. Course material can pile up rapidly if you are not careful. So be sure to study and clean up your notes regularly, starting at the beginning of the school year!
2. Take notes in class
Attending class is good, and being active in class is even better. Taking good notes is important on many levels. First and foremost, they will ensure that you have a reliable and enjoyable study aid when the session comes around. But more than that, note-taking helps you remember the material and, when done correctly, constitutes almost 50% of the work you will have to do for a course.
It’s up to you to find the note-taking method that suits you. Some people are rather minimalist; others write down everything they hear extensively. If you are not very comfortable with the exercise, it may be a good idea to try taking digital notes with adapted software. Some ergonomic applications designed specifically for students will allow you to take more complete and clear notes.
3. Plan your work!
The second trap of college. While in high school, the sheer volume of material may have allowed you to sail by, success in college will require a minimum of planning in your work. Effective studying also requires organization, so don’t hesitate to make a weekly schedule. Take advantage of the free time in your schedule to review your notes and study the material.
Once you get home, adopt a daily work routine and orchestrate your study according to your needs and requirements. Focusing on the larger courses is often necessary, but don’t forget to schedule time for the smaller courses that you don’t review daily. Of course, reserve some time in your schedule for relaxation, sports, and leisure activities!
4. Research when you are stuck
At the college, the subject matter is as much in the classroom as it is outside of it. If you don’t understand something, you’ll have to figure it out! Especially since professors try to make themselves available as much as possible, it is often impossible for them to review a whole subject with you. And the lack of regular testing does not allow you to identify any gaps in your knowledge. If you find that you have problems, don’t panic. You have many resources at your disposal!
Start by searching the internet for your explanation; there are a few questions that Google won’t answer. This also gives you a good opportunity to go deeper into the subject and test your knowledge. Ask your friends, compare notes to make sure you haven’t missed anything. Form work groups with them, and ask them questions. Helping each other is always welcome. Finally, the many assistants and student monitors working at the college are at your disposal for any clarification you may need, so don’t hesitate to contact them if you need help.
5. Don’t just study anyway!
Let’s not get overzealous; our tips were about studying, so we needed one about going out. College is also the perfect place to meet good groups of friends and party. Student circles are a good place to start if you’re looking for fellow inebriates, to use an appropriate term. They will gladly provide you with drinks and allow you to meet a variety of students, both on and off-campus.
We advise you to keep up to date with the various festive events organized around the college via newspapers and student blogs, but we’re sure you’ll be well informed about them. But we do have to end a paragraph on going out with a warning, and while we strongly encourage you to make the most of your first year at college, it is clear that you will need to be reasonable in the intensity and frequency of your parties.
My motto in college was to study as much as I have fun. This was one of the things that got me through this stressful period in my life. Sound off in the comments section below and tell us what you want to read next and if you want to read more about starting college.