We are now on part two of college life, and this time I wanted to talk about things that can help you succeed in school. You may not ace every class you take, and that is okay. But there are things that you can do to help you along the way.
- Planners are saving lives out here
If a professor gives you an assignment and you mentally write it down in your head, you will 100% forget. THIS IS A FACT. Don’t be that person that is emailing and texting your classmates for help on an assignment a day before it is due. They will probably stop responding to you after awhile. If you don’t like to physically carry around planners and write in them, use your phone or jot things down in your notes. It doesn’t matter what system you use, as long as you find out what works for you and you stick to that system.
- ATTEND CLASS!
This one probably should have been number one, but I refuse to erase that paragraph so imagine that this is number one. ATTEND CLASS! I cannot stress this enough. Each class that you have will be different. Some professors will count attendance while others will not. Then you have the professors who count attendance every so often when they feel like doing so. Even if a class is required but it is not directly related to your major, still attend class. It never fails any time I have not went to class, we were given an assignment, a pop quiz, or the professor decided to count attendance that day. A little known fact, those attendance points add up. Attendance points are the easiest to get, and can be the difference between a B+ and an A-.
- You will need your professors one day
This one came specifically from my friend Keona, who was in nursing school and graduated this past spring. We all know that when we graduate and get ready to go out into the real world, we will need references of some sort. For her specifically, she had to have 3 references. She could not get a job without them. With that being said, be friendly with your professors because you will need to ask them for a letter of recommendation at some point in your college journey.
- Don’t be afraid of office hours
Office hours are set up for a reason. They are there to help you if you do not understand something. If their office hours do not work with your schedule because of class or work then email them and let them know. Any professor that I needed to ask for help always made themselves available so I could get the help I needed. Not only that, but it reflects on you as their student that you are willing to go above and beyond to make sure you pass this class. I remember one class that I was taking where our professor made the announcement that only one student had taken advantage of his office hours that entire semester. I was that student ya’ll. I was one of his best students and he always let me know, so do not be embarrassed or anxious to ask for help. It is there to benefit you.
- Don’t wait till you are failing
Do NOT wait till you are barely passing the class to ask for help. At that point, it is probably close to the end of the semester and your professors want to relax just as much as you do. Do not bombard them with questions about assignments and needing help two weeks before the semester is over, there is very little they can do for you. The second you see your grade slipping, go get help. If you are having problems with the teaching style that your professor implements, then ask classmates and friends for help. It is so easy to slip from an A to a C, but to bring it back up takes three years, both your pinky toes, and a human sacrifice. DON’T WAIT.
- Group projects are worse in college
I am telling you about group projects so that you will be prepared for how much no one likes them. They weren’t fun in high school and they are even worse once you are in college. The problem with group projects in college is that everyone has a different schedule. You may have class at the same time that some people in your group have work, and vice versa. It is harder to fit into everyone’s schedule when there are more than 3 people in a group, which is usually the case. There aren’t a lot of benefits to group projects, but I want you to be prepared for when they happen.
- Don’t pick up the slack
There is nothing wrong with helping out your friends and classmates. College is stressful, so of course it is understandable if someone has forgotten an assignment or needs you to do their part. That is fine. It becomes a problem when you have never seen that person in class more than twice, but they constantly ask you to do this and that for them. Nobody has time for the tomfoolery. Nobody has the time to do their own homework as well as yours. Should you make friends in class? Of course you should. Should you depend 100% on these people to take notes for you so you can be on your phone or sleep during class. No. Don’t be that person that slacks off and don’t feel obligated to pick up the slack for others.
- Know your resources
This tip is great for those who have problems specifically with taking tests. Test anxiety is a real thing. Do not be embarrassed to ask your professor to take the test in a room by yourself. You can obtain a doctor’s note stating that you have test anxiety and you need to take the test in a different room away from your peers. Again, do not wait until the semester is almost over and you have one more test left before you ask for help. Do it right away, don’t cause your grade to suffer because you don’t want to speak up.
- You will get crappy professors
I hate to say it, but it is true. We have all had teachers at one point that acted like they hated their students and wished they were somewhere else. That does not change. You will run into those professors that do not want to help you or make it seem like you should be eternally grateful that they allowed you to see them during office hours. My advice would be to definitely make friends in that class so you can help each other in every way possible. Your professor probably won’t be there if you need them.
- Last tip of the day: EXTRA CREDIT
Extra credit is not so easy to come by as it was in high school. If any professor offers you extra credit, thank them. Extra credit edit is in no way obligated, and many professors will not offer it. So if at any point extra credit is offered, whether you are passing with an A or a C, do the extra credit. Trust me. That A can drop very quickly and you want that extra credit there to save you in anyway that it can.
Until next time
It has been a pleasure writing about college. To give insights from my own point of view and experience. I was going to conclude college life next week, but I thought I would do something different. Next Wednesday, I will be introducing college life from the point of view of international students.
International students please comment and let me know about your own experiences and tips that you have about college life.