So you’ve got your new college wardrobe, you got your dorm room all set up and you’ve made some new friends already. You’re getting the feel for the college life, you’ve been invited to several parties, your phone is full of new numbers and there’s no parent around to tell you when to go to bed…life is good! There’s just one little thing. You’ve got to make time for studying! No one is there to force you, and there’s certainly plenty to distract you. Amongst all the distraction just remember that one of your main goals for attending college is to do well in your studies while you’re there!
Here are some simple tips to keep in mind to make the most of your study time:
1. Set aside time every day towards your studies.
Postponing homework may not be a big deal at first, but college courses and professors aren’t as forgiving as what you may have been used to in High School and homework for a multitude of classes can really add up and overwhelm you if you don’t stay on top of it. Get in the habit of accomplishing homework assignments as soon as you can instead of waiting until the night before. You’ll do better on the assignments, feel less burned out, and still have time to socialize while keeping your grades up.
2. Find a place to study away from the commotion.
Sometimes the dorm room isn’t the best set-up for concentrating. Make use of the campus library. There are often sections dedicated to extreme quiet if you find it difficult to concentrate with noise. Seek out a park, a shady spot on campus, or any study room on campus where you can set out your books and get your work done.
3. If you don’t understand a concept or homework, ask for help!
Many times college students see their professors as being less available or less willing to help than a High School student who knew them personally and by name. While it’s true that your professor might not know you by name right off the bat, make an opportunity to introduce yourself, to express any concerns you might have, or ask any questions that you need clarification on. The professors want you to succeed. Generally all professors have office hours where they are available for students to make appointments or come by for assistance with their work. Make use of this! At the end of the semester if you’ve done all you could and really sought help and your professor knows this and you still didn’t do as well as you’d hoped, sometimes having them know your situation will help.
4. Use your free resources
Take advantage of the resources that are available to you in the way of free tutoring, of homework labs, and of accommodations for learning disabilities should that be an issue for you. Campuses are full of chances for free tutoring, and if you’re not sure where to find them, ask your academic advisor or a professor of the class you’re struggling in. All professors should mention at the beginning of the semester that if anyone has a particular learning disability or unique style of learning to let them know so they can make accommodations.
5. Form study groups.
Chances are, you’re not the only one in class who either really wants to do well or who needs extra help in studying. It’s not a bad idea to make friends early on in each class, even just one person, so that should you ever miss class because of unforeseen issues or illness, they can fill you in on what you missed. Forming these allies in class will help you when you need someone to discuss topics with, to meet at the library to study with, and to even tutor you should you need extra help.
6. Don’t take on too much at one time!
If you’re grades are slipping, evaluate your workload and recognize that perhaps something has to give. If you’re out too late every night, be honest with yourself and cut back on the socializing. If you’ve taken on too many credits, see what you can do about dropping one until the next semester. It’s understandable to want to do it all and experience all you can, but know your limits.