Every year, thousands of students coming to Penn State always have questions about all that has to do with college. In reality however, every single student is asking the same question of “How do I become successful in college?”. There are of course a lot of things you should do in order to be successful but Here are my five #KeysToSuccess tips focusing on in class success here at Penn State!
One of the best things that you can do is get organized from the beginning. Being a college student is all about putting yourself in the best position for success by deliberately and actively doing so. Get the syllabus from each of your classes and put all important tests, quizzes, exams, homework, and project due dates in one easy to read calendar to check daily. Not only will you not forget assignments, you will find yourself completing assignments ahead of time with room in case you want to improve your work further.I highly recommend myHomework which is an app that does all these things and more for a one time payment of $5. You can put all your classes in it with all necessary details such as time, day, and room. You can set reminders of assignments up to three weeks before or pick a specific date for a reminder.You can also set an assignment to repeat such as a homework assignment that may be due every Friday. This app has literally changed my life and kept me organized and on top of my assignments. Another great resource is google calendar for events such as meetings, events, work, and other important dates that may come up. You can also share your calendar with friends and organize times to study together. Technology can be your best friend when it comes to getting organized!
I can’t remember the last time I sat anywhere further than the second row in any class I have. Whether it is a class of 600 or 20 people sitting in the front of my classes made it that much easier to concentrate on what the professor had to say as well as STAY AWAKE in those long lecture classes. When you sit further back in a class you are less inclined to be engaged in what the professor has to say. Who really wants to shout out answers from the back of a classroom? I also found that sitting in the front is a lot quieter than further back in a classroom. People who sit in the front rarely talk while the professor is talking making it that much easier for you to learn. As humans its nature for us to be attracted to things that move or change in our environment. We can’t really help looking at someones computer screen watching a youtube video or flipping through websites it’s just nature and in a classroom environment it’s a distraction! Save yourself the trouble and sit in the front. You will ask more questions, be more engaged, and even learn a thing or two!
Remember in high school when you used to study the night before a test get an A or even not study at all and still manage to somehow get a B! Well those days are pretty much over in college if you want to succeed! Setting time away to study for a class is crucial in college for any and every class.It can be hard sometimes, believe me but once you get into a routine it becomes second nature and you find yourself automatically studying with little or no effort.
- Schedule time for studying and in that you actually realize how much free time you may actually have after classes and studying. There is a little formula I learned that for every credit hour you have in class you should study two hours outside of class. For example if I have a three credit course I should be studying at least six hours outside of class which could be homework, reading, or taking notes. Yes it sounds like a lot but if you look at the math you have a good amount of time left for other things such as SLEEP! Remember this is spread out over seven days not all at once not only does this take the stress out of studying but it helps you better retain information a bit at a time.
- You need to learn how YOU study best to grasp concepts and how to study for each class. Most people would not study for history the same way they study for math. Find a plan that works for you and/or the class. If you go to office hours and ask a professor what material you should focus on they would gladly give you tips on how to do so.
- This last step may seem obvious but STUDY! Stick with the plan you have in place or change it if you feel it’s not working as it should. You know yourself best so make the changes that need to happen so you do better!
This may be one of the more difficult tips for students to do because quite frankly you’ve never had to make a conscious effort to talk to your instructor before. The reason a Penn State education is unique is that the connections you make can rocket you into places you can’t believe! Your first point of contact is to meet your professor who isn’t only educating you but wants to be of help to students who show active interest in the course and even what they are researching. Professors are a great learning resource and resource for recommendations in the future if you build a proper professional relationship throughout your time at Penn State. It all starts in your freshman year and grows from there. Next should be your advisers or other faculty in your college of interest. They help point you make educated decisions about what classes to pick for the semester or all your choices for potential majors. Whoever that faculty member may be they are important to you being successful at Penn State and beyond. I suggest meeting your professor at least twice in a semester whether you need help or not and you academic adviser several times to keep them updated and keep yourself informed about your major or potential major. After those two you should branch out to talk to those in your profession or college so you can plan for the future in every way possible! It starts here!
This may seem like a magical word that we seem to never quite get a grasp on. Sleep is an important part of every day life an not just college. You cannot function properly without adequate sleep daily and not just on the weekend to “catch up” on sleep. Trying to catch up on sleep on the weekend makes it so that you can’t stay ahead in your classes. The weekend could be a great time to get huge amounts of work and studying done to prepare for the next week.While making your study plan schedule in sleep and a time to wake up as well! If you go to sleep and wake up at the same time everyday then it makes it that much easier to know you’re getting enough sleep as well as not be a groggy in the morning once your body gets acclimated to the times. Eight or more hours of sleep will help you be alert during your classes and help you be more productive during the weekend instead of sleeping the day away. Sleep is important and should be taken seriously for your physical and mental health!
These #keystosuccess have been made to condense all the information that you may have received into a simpler format so that you can easily plan accordingly. Don’t get me wrong college should be fun but it will only be fun once you do what you have to do in the classroom or else you will just be stressed 24/7 and have no fun at all. Now that you have a plan in place to be successful go out and be great. Enjoy everything that Penn State has to offer and use them to your advantage to become #successful here at Penn State!
#We Are…Penn State!!