Being a student comes with a lot of challenges. Therefore, college freshmen need to be sufficiently motivated before embarking on the long academic journey ahead of them. One way of achieving that is setting yourself an ambitious goal you’d like to accomplish over the upcoming academic year. However, when their course load gets too heavy, many students begin to crumble under the pressure of endless lectures, frequent assignments, tedious tests, and multiple courses taken together.
It should come as no surprise then that even the most determined students begin to wonder whether they can survive the entire ordeal, let alone achieve the lofty goal they set themselves.
Failing to realize your ambition at the end of the academic year can be a huge disappointment. Frequently, students look back and wonder what went wrong and how they could have done things differently.
That being said, one has to understand that studying in college is vastly different from attending classes in high school. The academic process is generally more demanding and what worked for you in high school may not necessarily work in college. However, by applying our six practical tips you stand a good chance of achieving excellence across all academic levels.
1. Set Specific Academic Goals
Accomplishing great feats in academia is impossible without setting yourself clear goals. Having well-defined objectives helps you embark on your academic journey with a stronger sense of direction. It plays a crucial role in ensuring that you won’t end up wandering aimlessly along your academic path.
What you strive to achieve should be realistic and achievable. It’s not enough to simply say to yourself, “This semester is going to be the best one ever!” or “I’m going to be the best thing that ever happened to this course!” The problem with such lofty declarations is that they really don’t specify measurable goals. As you progress with your studies, your goals should always serve as reference points for self-assessment. In other words, they should be the quantifiable basis for checking how well you’re performing.
Here are a few examples of what specific goals could be:
Score an A or A+ in a particular course
Get a 3.5 GPA in the new academic year.
Don’t lose more than 20% of the grade for each assignment in a specific course or during a new semester.
2. Organize and Prioritize your Academic Assignments
Even if your goals are clearly specified, realizing them is impossible without a clear plan of action. Putting it simply, failing to plan, means planning to fail. One of the unpleasant realities of college life is that there are numerous assignments to be done. It’s important to remember that there’s only 24 hours in a day and you’ll likely spend less than half of that time doing assignments. Accordingly, knowing how to organize them based on their deadlines can help you immensely.
If you face more complex assignments, such as thesis papers, you may wonder, “ How can I write my thesis paper successfully and in a timely manner?” This is where you can delegate some work to professional writers to get high-quality academic papers written for you. Doing so can help you find balance and score high in your assignments.
3. Study Carefully the Course Syllabus for Each Course
Never underestimate the value of reading a course syllable. You’ll get all important information about your course, including the scope/curriculum, grading system, attendance policy, tests, and exam rules.
4. Always Plan Your Day and Allocate Your Time Wisely
A popular Chinese proverb holds that a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step. This couldn’t be more relevant and true for making strides academically. If you desire to score a high GPA in the current year, you can start by breaking things down into daily action plans. You can’t expect to achieve lofty academic goals if you spend most of your time socializing and playing games. Ideally, you should come up with a plan for the next day before going to bed. Sticking to it will give you a sense of accomplishment.
5. Attend as Many Lectures as Possible and be Active
Although this may be tough for working students, attending lectures allows them to fully immerse themselves in the learning process. Always listen carefully to your professor and take notes of the new concepts or problem-solving techniques that are not described in your textbooks. You should also ask questions because active participation keeps you more engaged, facilitates better comprehension and ensures better results.
Admittedly, there are courses that make students want to go to sleep. Unfortunately, if your course instructor has a strict attendance policy and awards points based on the total course grade, you’ll have to endure. If you’re not able to be consistently present, you should ask your fellow students to provide you with lecture notes or get the video recordings of the missed lectures (if available). This is important because some tests and exams may be based solely on the material from lectures.
6. Study With Someone or a Group of Fellow Students
Finding a fellow student who can give you a hand with your studies (and helping them with theirs) can result in a mutually beneficial study relationship. Even when that’s not the case, you should help others by being their study partner or becoming a member of a study group (particularly for the courses you’re good at). You’ll be surprised how much you’ll be able to know about topics you need to improve upon. Maybe you’ll form lasting relationships that will extend far beyond college years!