Get a Head Start in Your Education

By Jenny Bront

The start of the semester is a good indicator of how your year will be, so it is important to begin on the right foot. It’s easy to keep up with the high demands of college classes as long as you develop a routine and stay ahead. Here are some tips to start the year off right.

Open your textbooks. You spent hundreds of dollars on these texts, so use them. Yes you learn this material in class, but many professors expect you to read the book on your own time and will include questions strictly from the book on the tests.

I recommend you read before you go to class because it will allow you to make connections to what you have read and participate more in class discussions. Furthermore, you will get the information in different ways to accommodate all types of learners.

Participate in class. Again, you are spending money to go to class, so you might as well make the most of it. Ask questions, participate in discussions, and answer questions. The more you do, the better the information sticks, and the more you learn or at least the higher your grade will be. Even if it is a boring Gen Ed, you never know what you will walk away with.

Form study groups. Studies show that the best way to learn is to teach others, so forming a study group is a great way to learn the material and make friends at the same time. Learning from other students may be easier to do than from professors because they may use harder language. Use the communication tab to email all your classmates and set up a time and place to do your studying.

Get help early. There is no shame in asking for help when you need it. If you are having trouble with a class, use the resources available to you. Sign up for a tutor, visit a drop-in lab, go to the writing studio, go to your professor, or go to the guru for the class if there is one.

Keep up, or get ahead with your homework. Do the homework as soon as you can and get it out of the way. This way you won’t get behind and you won’t stress over assignments. Keep a calendar so you know when things are due, and if you have an empty day, try to get ahead.

Do your work at the library or other academic settings. Get away from the distractions your room provides, and do your work in the library or the computer lab. Studies show that you associate your room with sleep and entertainment—very un-educational related activities—so you will be less motivated to do your homework. Surrounding yourself with other individuals who are working will motivate you to work harder as well.

Don’t let your procrastination cost you that A. Take your educations by the horns and do it before it is too late. It is much harder to keep up when you’re behind. Most importantly, however, if you finish everything early, be sure to use the weekend to let off some steam.  If you are on course with your work, then it is well deserved.

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