As you transition to college life, you're going to be learning how to live on your own and how to budget your time and your money. You’ll be responsible for completing lots of requirements and meeting lots of deadlines. If you live away from home, you’re also going to be responsible for getting your meals, doing your laundry and keeping your living space clean. Learning how to balance all this will be one of your greatest challenges.
To help you get started on the right foot, here are some of the most important factors for academic success in college:
With more independence comes more responsibility. You’ll need to learn how to work hard, be organized, punctual and aggressive about learning all you can. Procrastination is a serious impediment to making good progress. Do everything you can to stick to your schedule and get your work done in good time. When you stick to your study schedule, you’re much better able to enjoy your recreational time free of stress.
Here are some steps you can take to improve your time management skills:
- Be fully committed to achieving your educational goals.
- Buy a calendar/planner and schedule all your time, including free time
- Focus on establishing a discipline about your schedule and settle into a routine as soon as possible.
- Make sure you get enough rest so your time is spent effectively.
- Take a Time Management workshop offered by your campus learning resources center.
- The standard for study time is a minimum of 3 hours of study for every 1 hour spent in class.
- Always be prepared for class by keeping up with reading assignments and asking any questions you have about the material you're expected to learn.
- Join or form a responsible study group to reinforce your learning and make the most efficient use of your time.
- Take all the Study Skills workshops offered by your campus learning resources center.
Utilization of campus resources
Take advantage of the wealth of resources all around you. There are staff and faculty there to help you.
- Take a campus tour to familiarize yourself with important campus resources, such as the Registrar’s Office, Financial Aid Office, tutoring centers, the library, career center, personal counseling, etc.
- Always check in with your academic advisor to go over your schedule each semester and whenever you have questions about your academic progress and the requirements you’ll need to graduate.
- Know where to get tutoring and take advantage of those services the moment you start to feel you are struggling with the class material. The best students get help BEFORE they need it. They use tutors and other academic services as a support, not a last minute catch up.
Creating a support network among friends and family
College can be overwhelming at times so it’s very important to build a supportive group of friends and family who can encourage your efforts every step of the way. Get the most out of your college experience by taking some initiative to introduce yourself to others.
- There are lots of student organizations where you can meet other students with similar interests and participate in events and community service volunteer opportunities.
- Join an HSF Scholar Chapter if one exists on your campus.
- Communicate with your family regularly and let them know what your daily routine is like so they understand the demands on your time.
- Get to know students in your classes and on your hall if you live on campus.
Faculty and Teaching Assistants are your most precious resource. They set the expectations for your performance and can help you do your best work. Every professor holds office hours to help individual students as part of their teaching responsibilities. Establishing a good working relationship with faculty can help when you need clarification, advice or a strong recommendation for internships, research placements and other important leadership opportunities. Take full advantage of this opportunity to expand your learning experience.
You can also get some advice from your fellow students. Listen carefully to that advice but always remember that each person brings their own talent, interests and abilities to every new situation, so it's very important for you to develop your own responses and strategies for success and make choices that are right for you.
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