Starting your studies at college is a big step. The first year at college sees students coming out of high school having to navigate a much more challenging environment, especially since you have to get into the swing of things right away. New lecture halls, new professors, new courses, new faces- all these new things can be scary. And it can be easy to get lost in this often friendly, but sometimes unfriendly environment.
Statistics show a 38% success rate for students starting their first year at college. This makes it all the more important to adapt to the new college environment quickly. But don’t worry too much, because the purpose of this article is not to torture you even more. Lectures begin, the material piles up and can become unmanageable without a proper work method and organization. So, without further ado, let’s dive into this blog and discover some of our tips for a successful start to your studies.
1. Don’t skip lectures
The first major change when you arrive at college is the lecture. This can be an unsettling discovery for students who may feel they are wasting their time or drowning in the midst of the scrum in the lecture hall. Then comes the age-old question: should you attend all the classes, even the ones where you are “nosing around”?
The professor will insist on a point, raise the tone at the moment… We can see what is important for them and their requirements. These courses are important because they allow you to understand the subject better and certain things. Attending these classes also allows you to socialize. To belong to this new world, the college.
On the other hand, if the professor only reads his course, a student can just as easily choose to study at home from reference books. It is up to you to ask yourself the right questions before deciding. Does the professor provide a structure for the course? Do they provide an outline? Do they provide examples and additional explanations that are not in the handout? Does the professor’s enthusiasm spark your interest in the subject they are teaching?
2. Be a strategic student!
Studies in educational science have shown that there are three kinds of students. Those who study on the surface and achieve little, those who actively study but do not achieve all, and those who study strategically and achieve a lot. These are the students who combine deep work and strategy. A successful first-year student is a strategic student.
These students will pay close attention to teachers’ expectations early in the year, including how they question: is it straightforward lecture restitution? Are they comprehension-based questions? Are the questions focused on the course or on the exercises? To find out, there is no secret: you have to investigate! Attend the course, former interview students, consider getting old questionnaires… And adapt your revision method accordingly.
3. Learn to manage your free time
Managing your free time is “the major difficulty” that students face when they arrive at college. Especially since it coincides with learning certain independence. The solicitations are enormous: parties, outings… This freedom is also synonymous with constraints: students must run errands. To best manage, this new free time, Making a weekly schedule, hour by hour, of all these activities. The idea is to indicate all their classes, trips, meals, and outdoor activities, ranging from dentist appointments to outings through yoga.
In the free slots, you should write down your different times of revision: the realization of the course materials, the training via exercises, the time of memorization of the course… It is a question of being precise: Monday, I revise chapters 1 to 3, for example. And to specify the amount of time you estimate to spend on each task next to it. Time yourself! This will allow you to evaluate and adjust your revision time for each task as best you can.
Notes from a veteran
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.