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Doing well is much easier said than done. The best tip I have is to just do the work. It’s going to suck, but there’s no secret other than doing the work. Though, there are ways to make doing the work easier!

I. Time Management

  • Have a planner to gain a general idea of your week.
  • Schedule your time for studying but also schedule time for breaks.
  • Every morning I check what needs to be done for the day.
  • I treat college as a 9-5 job with a lunch break. This may not work for everyone, but this thinking allows me to be done by 5, and I usually finish everything for the day by that time.
  • Take a break after you finish an assignment. Allow yourself to feel proud for finishing and give yourself a reward.
  • Break up projects into smaller parts, this is incredibly important. It’s easier to do an outline, then a few paragraphs rather than doing an entire essay at once.
  • It’s not time well used if you don’t focus on the task at hand. If you’re having trouble, get rid of distractions using apps that limit phone/internet usage.
  • Don’t waste time on techniques that don’t work for you. I don’t rewrite notes, it doesn’t help me study. Instead I do extra textbook problems or I watch a video on the topic. 
  • Sometimes it’s hard to motivate yourself to do the work, to study. Then just do a single problem, a single page or paragraph. Usually starting is the hardest part.

II. Studying & Learning

  • Be present during class by asking questions and answering problems.
  • Use phone-locking apps like Forest if you need to to stay focused on the class.
  • Skim lecture notes ahead of time. You don’t need to take notes on them, the professor will tell you what’s important.
  • It’s ok if your notes aren’t pretty as long as they’re functional.
  • Practice problems until you can’t get them wrong.
  • Try to teach the material to someone else. This will show holes in your understanding. Pretend to teach if you don’t have a friend in the same class.
  • If you need, study in the library. Honestly, studying at my desk in my dorm has worked just fine for me though.
  • Do the homework, there’s no way around it. This is probably the biggest tip here. Do the work.
  • Actually do the homework, don’t just copy answers. Understand the answers. You can’t copy on a test.
  • Speaking of tests, do as many practice tests as you can find. Once the real test comes around, you won’t be as nervous and it should feel familiar.
  • Nice pens and notebooks aren’t required. However, spend a dollar and get a pen that writes well enough that you’re not wasting time during class getting it to work. (I’ve been through this)
  • Do the extra credit. There’s no reason not to, and your grade will thank you.
  • Go to tutoring, not everyone knows everything. You might even make a new friend since most tutors at my school are also students!
  • Realistically, you don’t need to do every reading assignment as long as you know what your professor tests on. If you don’t have the time, its fine to only skim the assignment.
  • Make study groups. If you don’t have a friend in the class, it’s as easy as asking “want to work on the homework together?” In my experience, most people are happy to work with you.
  • Go to your professors office hours if you need help. Your professors are a valuable resource.
  • Ask your friends for feedback, I do this all the time.

III. Treat Yourself

  • Sleep and eat well. Coffee is not a breakfast.
  • Please, don’t force yourself to cram a subject overnight. This is where time management comes into play.
  • An over-stressed student is a bad student, but a little bit of stress is healthy.
  • Find what motivates you. Personally, I wish to become a researcher so I work hard towards that goal to get into a good grad. school.
  • You don’t have to join a club. I’m not in one, and my social life is just fine since I spend time playing games with friends at night.
  • But join a club if you want, even for a single day. You might meet some friends.
  • Really do whatever you want with regards to your social life. Do what’s comfortable for you.
  • If you need it, colleges have a therapist that you can make an appointment with.