Take your grades seriously
July 17, 2019
You’ve heard this since probably middle school: College is hard. While there are a few exceptions that come along with this, like most college professors won’t actually call you out for being on your phone and you actually don’t get a lot of homework, for the most part it’s true. College is a lot harder than what you’re used to.
From my in-depth data research — OK, not in-depth at all because I just asked a bunch of people I knew — it didn’t matter what grades they got or what their major is. Everyone agrees getting good grades can be hard. While there will always be a few classes you can skate through, there will always be a class where either the concept is difficult or the professor is, so when you’re starting off at school, start off on the right foot when it comes to your classes.
Even if you can get through all your assignments and tests within literal minutes, if you aren’t organized and don’t know your deadlines, you will automatically lose points. Each class I have taken in college so far has had a late penalty, and often it’s a pretty hefty portion of your grade. Make sure to not lose points on a silly thing like a deadline.
Start studying a week early
I know this sounds extreme, but in the beginning of the semester, make sure to give yourself a week to start preparing. Not only does this give you some relax studying time so you don’t have to cram it in the night before, but it also helps you prevent any hiccups from happening. Let’s say your best friend begs you to go out a day or two before the test. You have a little wiggle room to change your schedule up if you started studying early enough! If you start studying a week in advance, it prevents you from getting too overwhelmed in case you start looking at the material and realize you know nothing. It also gives you time to go in and meet with your instructor to ask any lingering questions.
Seriously, don’t stay up too late the night before
I don’t care how often you’re used to staying up all night cramming, it will leave you worse off going into the test barely able to keep your eyes open.
You will get to a point in studying where you will know what you know. Give yourself a break. There’s no need to keep allocating time to a subject you already know thoroughly.
You will always have other work to do while you have other tests or big projects due, so you need to prioritize your work. Unfortunately, this may mean being a little more underprepared for a test than you would want to be if your grade is higher in that class, and you need to boost your grade in a different one. While we all want to get an A on every test, think bigger picture. It’s OK to get a B or a C on a test, especially if you have the cushion in that class.
If you didn’t have the best studying habits in high school, you can fix them now in college, especially because doing well now can mean even more. Find the study strategies that work best for you, and you can succeed here academically.