Timeless Tips For College Students
Want to get good grades in college or help your favorite student thrive? My older sister gave me what I still consider the single best piece of advice on how to do well in college. Struggling College Student of College Survival Tools agrees, and has timeless and contemporary tips.
My older sister’s best advice on how to do well was pretty simple: Go to class. Struggling College Student’s equivalent is “stay away from… skipping class” (#6).
With the exception of a couple of sessions (one of which was to attend an NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship game in Philadelphia; another was to catch a ride home on a Friday afternoon), I never missed a class. I wasn’t trying to be a perfect student (which perhaps I should have done) but it did occur to me, at some point in my college career, that doing a bit of work on the front side meant a lot less work overall.
More tips from me:
- Do all of the required reading
- Go to tutoring sessions if you need to or think you could possibly benefit; getting help from another student or instructor, rather than drudging through books or assignments alone, can give you better perspective on a subject and may cut your studying time dramatically
- Tackle any problems as quickly as possible; don’t wait until the days before the final exam to visit your professor’s office
- Get a job or engage in some sort of significant extracurricular activity; you’ll end up managing your time better
- Watch out for deadlines
- Participate in discussions (especially if you are taking an online class) even if you think you know everything already; you can at least learn what other people know or think about a topic that will help you later
- Visit class websites daily or the amount of information you have to process will be overwhelming
and from Struggling College Student:
- Dedicate 3 hours per week to every 1 credit hour you are taking (for example, study 36 hours per week if you are taking 12 credit hours), according to a poll of professors (seems excessive but studying some on weekends can help you make this quota)
- Minimize or completely avoid television, video games, and hanging out with friends who don’t study much
- Have fun but don’t overdo the socializing and partying
My sister’s advice (given 25 years ago) is still relevant. If you’ve got tips for soon-to-be or current college students, please share.