It doesn’t matter where you see yourself after the college – entering a fluctuating job market or joining aspiring academics in the grad school. Either way you are going to face fierce competition and you’d better come prepared. That means learning as much as you can, showing great results, and working on your credentials.
Being high-achiever at college isn’t as easy as at school. Yet fret not, here are some tips to staying organized and killing it in college.
Definitely Attend Classes
The first one may seem as a no-brainer, yet many students drunk on the newfound freedom from parents and strict school discipline decide that they just won’t bother showing up, especially in the mornings. Yet before you allow yourself some slack, consider the benefits of attending the classes regularly.
Firstly, depending on your school rules, regular attendance can be a factor in whether you will be allowed to sit for the exams or not. Secondly, your professor is there for a reason. If you wouldn’t need their guidance and expertise, you could just read the recommended books and know it all. During lectures, you have a valuable opportunity to ask questions and benefit from a condensed and systemized information while the professor is teaching you. Don’t forget to take notes: these will often provide you with the ready-made answers to some of the exam questions. If you are attentive enough, this material should suffice. With a bit of additional effort you will be competent enough to write an essay on any given topic without getting help from professional writing services.
Moreover, many colleges conduct special classes just before the exams. There you will be able to get all the information about the procedure. This reduces anxiety, as you no longer fear the unknown.
As I said, attending classes is mandatory but it isn’t enough. The most of academic load is going to be your independent studying, which means that you have your learning sessions yourself. This can be only one if you make a proper schedule of your studies and follow it carefully. Make a timetable of your college classes, tuition classes, and then add up the number of hours that you will devote to cramming on your own. One look at your curriculum will be enough to tell how vast the material to learn is.
Do not forget to add some extra-curricular activities and breaks in your schedule. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy – not to mention that cognitive abilities diminish without some refreshment. Taking part in your college competitions, festivities, and Greek life is also a great idea. Apart from being fun, all this is later included in your grade card under extra-curricular activities and gives you bonus points for your CV.
Become a Good Planner
Apart from studying hard for your exams, it is also important to take care of other academic work – written assignments, research projects, and so on. When it comes to essays, it is too easy to underestimate the time it takes to write a good one. Too often students dismiss such tasks and leave them until the night before the deadline. Then they discover that they have to read five monographies and the last available one was checked out of the library yesterday.
To avoid such emergencies, always read the assignment details carefully and budget your time accordingly.
Join Study Groups
Learning together is more fun and it is also more efficient, since everyone has something to bring to the table. Discussions are beneficial and they prepare you for respectful argument in academia and professional environment.
Joining a study group, you can also significantly save time. Break the reading list into sections, each read your share and then retell it to others, highlighting the key points of the research. This isn’t only about time, but about effective reading. When you know you will have to explain something to others, you read more carefully, looking for important ideas and succinct definitions.
Technology has made things even easier. With various WhatsApp and Facebook groups available today you can stay in touch 24/7 and schedule video conferences with your classmates who cannot attend the meet ups.
Choose Your Major Wisely
Today, colleges offer a wide range of subjects in which you can do your major. Do not hurry to select it right away. This decision demands commitment, so take your time, listen to yourself. What are you enthusiastic about, what feels important for your future? Try not to yield under the pressure from your family – pick what is right for you. Likewise, going with anything that your peers prefer isn’t the answer.
It is also tempting to choose your major based on what is trending and seems the most lucrative option. However, for trendy occupations, there is always high competition and to have an edge you should be driven and passionate about your subject. What is more important – trends change too fast to build your career based on them.