The biggest challenge facing college freshmen around the country is that they are arriving academically unprepared. Students are not being taught the importance of attending class, how to manage their time, how to study, or how to effectively use their computers. These essential skills need to be instilled in our freshmen before they start college. The first semester of college is so important; it can set the tone for the next four years. Students need to attack college with a game plan from day one. It is far too difficult to try and recover from a poor GPA.
Attend class! I know that sounds pretty elementary but on a large campus with freshman classes hosting as many as 500 students in a lecture hall, roll call just doesn’t happen. So the tendency is to skip class – don’t do it! One of the easiest ways to maintain a decent GPA is to just show up. So if you are going to go the effort of going to class you might as well pre-read the chapter(s) in the textbook that your professor will be lecturing on. You will amazed how much easier it is to quickly learn the material when you have prepared your brain with the content being taught.
Time matters! So manage it appropriately. If you want to be the master of your time, every minute counts. Make going to school your 9 – 5 job. Get up and get to work so you can enjoy your weekends and your evenings on your terms. Be proactive; when a project is assigned break it down and determine the steps to completion and set a due date yourself for each step of the way. This makes even the most complex assignment ‘doable’.
Good study habits pay huge dividends. Learn in real time, don’t put the learning off! Each day review your notes from the lectures you attended. Learn as if you had to teach the material, this will increase your attentiveness to detail. Take notes on everything you read and hear in class. Record lectures and listen in your car or every chance you get – even when you are brushing your teeth! Use the little moments so you can control the big ones!
Your computer can do more than help you face book your friends – just saying! Use this incredible tool to its full advantage. Make sure you fully understand the incredible functions of Word, Powerpoint, Excel to name a few. Keep in mind that the majority of colleges rely on the internet to post everything from your class syllabus to an avenue for you to submit your assignments, online tests, class forums, etc so make sure you are very comfortable and competent with this incredible learning tool.
Success in school doesn’t just happen! You need to be a determined student who has a plan of attack and habits that will serve you well on the college campus of your choice. By keeping up with your course work you remain in control of the process – priceless!