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Study Tips for College Freshers

Posted 12 September 2013
students in the hallway

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Now that college is starting, many of you are probably thinking of ways you could maximise your chances to be a successful student during your college years. It might be a little daunting at first to start college - you are at a new school, full of new people and in a whole new environment. It might be challenging to focus on your studies and at the same time getting used to new surroundings, but do not worry - this can absolutely be done. In this article I am going to give you a couple of study tips for when you first start at college - hopefully, you will find them helpful!

Now that college is starting, many of you are probably thinking of ways you could maximise your chances to be a successful student during your college years. It might be a little daunting at first to start college - you are at a new school, full of new people and in a whole new environment. It might be challenging to focus on your studies and at the same time getting used to new surroundings, but do not worry - this can absolutely be done. In this article I am going to give you a couple of study tips for when you first start at college - hopefully, you will find them helpful!

Keep Organized

One of the most important things for most students in the beginning of every school year is to prepare for it. Once you get settled in your new accommodation, and just before school starts, it is a really good idea to head to a stationery shop - you can use this as an excuse to hang out with some of your new friends! You will need to get a paper diary - I know that nowadays you can use electronic diaries, but in my opinion, nothing beats a traditional pretty paper diary when it comes to staying organized at school. In your diary, you will keep track of all your assignments and important dates - you can choose to combine it with your private diary or have a separate “school” diary, depending on what suits you.
Depending on your working style you might either want to get some ring binders and dividers, or get simple notebooks, one for each subject. Also don’t forget to get some pretty colourful ones, as having nice looking stationery will keep you motivated whenever you need it.

Make the most of your time


When you are actually in college, make the most of every single class you attend. Do everything your tutor tells you to do, and do so with great focus and motivation. If you think about it, you are going to have to spend an hour in the classroom anyway - you could choose to spend it not doing anything, but in that case you will have to catch up later, once you have to do homework or take exams. Or you could give it your best, learn most of the things during your class, and then have an easier time later on. Really try hard not to waste a minute of your time in class.    

Do not leave anything until the last minute

When you get assignments, you usually have a week or so to complete them. It is absolutely vital that you do not leave your homework until the last day before it is due. In fact, you should start at least thinking about your assignment on the very day that it was given to you. That way, you will soon feel ready to start working on it and you will not have to go through the torture of having to stay up all night in order to finish your homework at the last minute. If you struggle with working ahead, try to set your own deadlines, maybe a day or two before your actual deadlines. Find a way of rewarding yourself if you do manage to complete an assignment way ahead of time - hang out with your friends or buy yourself a chocolate bar! :)

Keep Well Rested and take time to Relax

Some of you may feel like it is a cliché and you have heard it over and over again, but it really is not. When you get enough sleep every night, you will not only be healthier, but you will also be able to focus and perform at a much better level. Similarly, although you might feel temporarily exhausted by them, sports are a really good way of putting your mind to rest and that way they enable you to perform much better again. Instead of taking a nap when you feel like you are losing focus, try to go for a walk or for a run - it will boost your focus much better than a nap will!  

Stay Confident

Even the best students have bad days - once in a while it will happen that you will not get the A that you wanted so much. Sometimes, you might even feel like you’ve put a lot of work into an assignment that your teacher simply did not like. A key to going through this is staying confident and remembering that a one-time occurrence definitely should not put you down, and definitely does not mean that you are not a good student. If you feel unhappy about your grade, you should have a talk with your teacher and see what their reasons for giving you the grade are - this will help you stay confident, because your teacher will explain to you what you can improve and avoid in order to keep performing at your best!

Work with your friends

Sometimes you might feel that if you work too hard, you are missing out on having fun and spending a good time with your friends. Well, the good news is that these two are not mutually exclusive at all. Some of your friends definitely study the same or similar subjects as you do - why not go out to a coffee shop and work together? That way you can have fun and be productive at the same time - doesn’t this sound exciting?

Keep the big picture in your head to keep you motivated


There will be some days when you feel down and you feel like you do not want to study anymore or you feel like not handing in that one boring assignment, or you just simply do not feel like doing anything. During these days, you need to keep yourself motivated. Remember that amazing university you want to get into? That dream job you have? The above study tips for college freshers will help you achieve all of your dreams. You need to keep focused on the big picture and make sure you do all the above steps in order to keep yourself motivated and keep doing well.

Zuzana Chlupackova

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