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College Tips?

What are some tips to get through my first years of college and maintaining good grades while managing stress? What are some studying tips to make sure I don't fail?

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Hannah’s Answer

You are already taking the first steps by wanting to be organized and on top of things so well done!
This is what helped me in college:
1. Only take 12-14 credits your first semester. It is a good idea to take the minimum amount of credits to keep you at full time student status at the beginning so you can get used to the workload.
2. I took 1 "fun" class every semester (yoga, music class, cooking class, etc.) It had nothing to do with my major, it was just a class I thought was fun and interesting. Even when the other classes were hard and frustrating, I still had one fun class to look forward to. It helped lower my stress because it was more of a hobby class and I could relax for an hour or two.
3. Plan out your schedule every week. Know when you will study, take tests, go to classes, and meet up with study groups. I would also plan to be social at least once a week. Have some fun with friends.
4. Get sleep! It is not worth it to stay up until 3 am studying. Every hour of sleep you get before midnight is worth 2 hours of sleep. If you stay up and pull all-nighters, you will not do as well as you hope. Your brain will be so tired it will not work correctly. I would recommend going to sleep earlier and waking up earlier (ex. wake up at 5:30) to study.
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Mohit’s Answer

Hello Rebecca,

I encourage you to:
1. Make an effort to attend all lectures (as often as you can)
2. Dedicate 2 hours in the library after lectures to review what you learned that day and gather additional information on the subjects
3. Aim to create comprehensive notes in one attempt (for example, while in lectures, jot down notes, leave gaps if you think you've missed something, and fill them in later)
4. Keep essential formulas and definitions on a separate sheet and review them whenever you have some spare time.

To handle stress, remember not to spend all your time solely on studying. When you're studying, concentrate on your study, and when you're with friends, simply unwind. Avoid mixing the two.

Following these suggestions should help you navigate through your studies with ease.
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Ban’s Answer

Hello Rebecca,

The first year is always a time for discovery. I encourage you to explore various interests, experiment with new ideas, and continue seeking out new experiences while making connections.

Here are a few tips for your first year in academics:
1. Stay focused during lectures. As a former teaching assistant during my master's program, I noticed that students who remained attentive for the entire hour of a lecture performed well on exams. Since most test materials and homework assignments come directly from lectures, maintaining focus will help you stay ahead of the curve.
2. Establish connections with your professors. Having a mentor during your college years is invaluable, and who better to guide you than the ones who teach you? Make it a habit to attend office hours regularly, even if you don't have specific questions. Building a strong relationship with the professors in your major will provide you with a wealth of valuable advice throughout your college journey.
3. Stay relaxed and don't stress over one or two exams or classes. It's okay to receive a C or even a D occasionally. Life is like a boat, with waves carrying you up and down. Embrace these ups and downs as learning experiences, helping you face future challenges after graduating from college.
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Emily’s Answer

Congratulations, and what an exciting time! The secret to success lies in building strong connections with your professors and making the most of office hours and additional study sessions before exams. As you become more comfortable and start meeting new people, you'll find friends or acquaintances in your classes. Forming study groups can be extremely helpful as well.

In summary, approach this new chapter with an open mind, befriend many people, show kindness, and actively participate in your college community.
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Trung’s Answer

Here are a few friendly tips to help you during your first year in college:
1) Be aware of the helpful resources available on campus. Instead of stressing over an issue, consider reaching out to campus resources for assistance. Advisors, peer tutors, mentors, and on-campus organizations are there to support you.
2) Make a few good friends - you don't need a huge group, just a handful of buddies to accompany you to events or take classes with. Having at least one familiar face can make things much easier. This personally made a big difference for me during my college years. If you want to make more friends, that's totally up to you!
3) Don't compare yourself to others - everyone has their own unique journey. Some people may get A's, while others may get F's, but remember, you're doing things at your own pace. Best of luck!
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Maimona’s Answer

Hi Rebecca!

I just finished college not too long ago, and I know it can be pretty stressful sometimes. But I also had some of the best moments of my life during that time. It's important to find a balance in everything you do. One thing that really helped me was setting realistic and achievable goals every day. I want to stress the "realistic and achievable" part because I saw many friends set goals that were just too hard to reach. When they couldn't complete those tasks, they ended up feeling even more stressed and anxious. So, try making a schedule, like 9:30am-11:30am for Calculus homework, 11:30am-1pm for Chemistry class, 1pm-1:30pm for a break, and so on. Having goals like these will help you stay focused and get through your daily tasks, which is a great way to manage stress.

When it comes to studying, it's all about finding what works best for you! Everyone has their own unique way of learning. For me, I didn't really benefit from group study sessions. Instead, I focused on paying attention in class, asking questions whenever I needed to, and working through my homework on my own. That's how I learned the most. But if you find that talking with others and teaching each other helps you understand better, then go for it! The key is to make sure you really grasp the concepts and ideas, and that's how you'll get good grades!

Best of luck, and don't forget to have fun during your college years!
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Alex’s Answer

1) Show up to class and participate
2) Join different clubs, organizations, or other groups that pertain to areas of interest for you.
3) Spend money wisely
4) Make an effort to meet new people
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Vincent’s Answer

Stick to a simple routine is the best way for success. I always went to every lecture, quiz section, and/or labs. The content in these sections always show up on exams. Also, I would make it a habit to ask questions as soon as you get stuck on something. The pace at university goes by super quickly. If you do not understand something, it will snowball into bigger confusion since content is cumulative. That said, always go to office hours when you need help. The TA's and professors are extremely helpful. Also, do not forget to ask your friends for help. Sometimes a peer can explain things way easier than a professor.
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Aadesh’s Answer

The first piece of advice I would give to a first-year student is to attend your lectures and pay attention (take notes, ask questions, etc). Often times the professor will give you a syllabus and that will be a great resource for you to view/use on how to succeed in that particular class. Make sure to read over the syllabus! One way to manage stress is to make a schedule, as it will help you with your time management and making sure all your assignments are completed. Enjoy your time at college and best of luck!
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Brynn’s Answer

1) Stay organized - Whether you use the notes app on your phone or an actual planner, just make sure you keep track of your assignments and exams so you know what you have to work for what class every day.
2) Learn how you study the best - Are you an auditory learner, visual learner, hands-on learner? Do you prefer to create flashcards or highlight key parts of your notes? Etc.
3) Get ahead when you can - There were many times when I would have some time to get ahead on assignments. This can be helpful especially if you know you have a busier week coming up.
4) Take breaks - Take a nap, go for a walk, get lunch with a friend, make yourself dinner, watch your favorite show, etc.
5) Enjoy your time at college - College is stressful but also fun. Make sure to keep a good balance between learning and enjoying your time.
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Josh’s Answer

Hey Rebecca!

Here are my tips:
1. Plan to study a little bit every day. Cramming is stressful and also not as effective. I personally made a habit of going to the library every day and being in that space helped me to focus and be productive.

2. Communicate with your professors. Go to class and become a familiar face, go to office hours and ask questions. If you're struggling, don't be afraid to let them know and work together to come up with a plan.

3. Join a study group. Studying with others is helpful. See if you can join or create a study group with a few people in your class.

4. Go to your campus writing center/tutoring services. Don't be afraid to seek them out! They are super helpful and are often other students who took the same courses.

5. Remember that college is more than just grades. Of course getting good grades is why you're there, but I'd encourage you to take advantage of clubs, sports and other activities as well. Having other activities will help you feel connected to the larger campus community and will be a great break from studying when you need it.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! Rebecca
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Riya’s Answer

Hello there!

Here are some fantastic study tips I've discovered during my time as a college student:

1. Choose a study spot that's new to you. I used to get easily distracted studying in my room, so I explored various buildings on campus to find places where I could truly concentrate on my work.

2. Form study groups! Even teaming up with just one or two classmates can be helpful, as you'll often find that your strengths complement their weaknesses, and vice versa. This not only helps you grasp concepts you're unsure about, but also allows you to teach your study partners, which can give you fresh perspectives on the material.

3. Create a study schedule. I personally enjoy crafting detailed plans. While it might seem daunting at first, it's comforting to know that I can always regroup if necessary, since I've spaced out my tasks to allow for some breathing room.

4. Study alongside friends! They don't need to be in the same courses as you, but being surrounded by others who are focused on their studies can boost your own concentration and motivation.

Happy studying!
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! Rebecca
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John’s Answer

Don't overthink it! Just have a clear mindset and do what you are passionate about.
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Nika’s Answer

I had a great first year college experience, so I am more than happy to share the tips that best worked for me!

1. Do not overload your schedule. College courses will be different from high school and can be an adjustment, so give yourself time for that adjustment. I recommend taking no more than 12-15 units per semester your first year.
2. Have your priorities in place. College is the first time many students experience freedom like they never have. But do not lose focus because of this. My best tip is to still utilize that high school work ethic of getting homework and tasks done as soon as you are done with class. That then leaves you with the rest of your evening to enjoy time with your friends!
3. Study groups. Talk to people in your classes and collaborate. I found in college that there was always someone around me that knew something that I didn't and sometimes it can be intimidating to speak to professors, so speak to those in the same shoes as you.
4. Join clubs and extracurriculars. You will meet many lifelong friends in college, so why not meet ones that you will already have similar interests to. Socializing will alleviate a great amount of your stress!
5. Take care of yourself. We tend to lose sight of doing this, but do not in your first year or it will only get harder.
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Arjita’s Answer

Embarking on your college journey can be thrilling yet demanding. To help you excel academically and cope with stress effectively, here are some uplifting tips:

1. Be present and engaged in class: Consistently attend your classes and actively join discussions. Jot down comprehensive notes, ask questions, and request clarification when necessary. Engaging in class will boost your grasp of the material and make studying more productive.

2. Use your time wisely: Develop a schedule or weekly planner to arrange your time efficiently. Prioritize your academic responsibilities and set aside dedicated study hours daily. Steer clear of procrastination and divide larger tasks into smaller, manageable portions.

3. Discover your ideal study routine: Try various study techniques and settings to find what helps you concentrate and retain information most effectively. Popular strategies include the Pomodoro Technique (focused work sessions with short breaks) and active learning methods like summarizing information or teaching it to someone else.

4. Stay organized: Monitor your assignments, exams, and deadlines using a planner or digital tools like calendar apps. Break tasks into smaller steps and create to-do lists to maintain organization. Having a clear overview of your duties will lessen stress and ensure you don't overlook crucial deadlines.

5. Seek assistance and resources: Don't hesitate to ask for help when needed. Most colleges provide academic resources such as tutoring services, writing centers, and study groups. Take advantage of these resources to reinforce your understanding of the material and refine your study skills.

6. Create study groups: Collaborating with peers can enrich your learning experience. Join or form study groups to discuss concepts, exchange notes, and teach one another. Explaining ideas to others can deepen your comprehension and offer diverse perspectives.

7. Prioritize your physical and mental well-being: Emphasize self-care to manage stress effectively. Exercise regularly, eat a balanced diet, and ensure adequate sleep. Take breaks during study sessions to prevent burnout. Also, practice stress-management techniques like meditation, deep breathing exercises, or pursuing hobbies you enjoy.

8. Make use of campus resources: Investigate the various resources available on campus, such as the library, academic advisors, counseling services, and student organizations. These resources can offer guidance, support, and opportunities for personal and academic development.

9. Build strong relationships with professors: Cultivating rapport with your professors can be advantageous. Attend office hours, seek clarification on assignments, and participate in class discussions. Establishing these connections can help you gain insights, receive guidance, and potentially secure recommendations for internships or future career opportunities.

10. Achieve a healthy work-life balance: College is not solely about academics; it's also about personal growth and exploration. Participate in extracurricular activities, join clubs or organizations, and socialize with your peers. Balancing academic commitments with social activities will keep you motivated, alleviate stress, and create a well-rounded college experience.

Keep in mind that everyone's college experience is unique, so it's crucial to find strategies and routines that suit you best. Remain open to adapting and refining your study habits as you advance through college.
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Bianca’s Answer

Hello there!
1. Discover a fun hobby or join a club to unwind and relax outside of school.
2. It's important to find a study method that suits you, even if it's different from your friends. You could create your own study guides, review notes after each class, use flashcards, attend office hours, or study with a buddy.
3. Do your best to attend all your classes, so you can ask questions and catch any important points your professor shares that might not be in the slides or notes.
4. Be prepared and always have all the necessary materials with you.
5. Keep open communication with both your professors and roommates.
6. Familiarize yourself with all the helpful resources available to you.
7. Explore the events happening around campus. You might find something that piques your interest or helps take your mind off school stress.
8. Don't hesitate to ask questions!
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Alexander’s Answer

Getting through your first years of college while maintaining good grades and managing stress can be challenging, but with the right strategies and mindset, you can succeed. Here are some tips to help you navigate your college years and excel academically:

Time management: Develop strong time management skills to ensure you allocate enough time for studying, attending classes, completing assignments, and taking care of yourself. Create a schedule or use a planner to organize your tasks and prioritize your activities.

Create a study routine: Establish a consistent study routine that works for you. Find out what time of day you're most alert and focused, and schedule your study sessions accordingly. Set aside dedicated study periods, break them into manageable chunks, and take short breaks in between to recharge.

Stay organized: Keep your study materials, notes, and assignments well-organized. Use folders, binders, or digital tools to manage your documents and ensure you can easily access and review them when needed. Being organized can save you time and reduce stress.

Active learning techniques: Instead of passively reading or listening, engage in active learning techniques. This includes taking thorough notes, summarizing information in your own words, discussing concepts with peers, teaching others, or creating flashcards and quizzes to test your understanding.

Seek clarification and assistance: Don't hesitate to ask for help or seek clarification when you're struggling with a concept or assignment. Attend office hours with your professors, form study groups with classmates, or utilize tutoring services offered by your college. Understanding the material thoroughly will help you perform better in exams and assignments.

Break tasks into smaller steps: When faced with a large assignment or project, break it down into smaller, more manageable tasks. This makes the workload seem less overwhelming and allows you to tackle each part systematically.

Take care of yourself: College life can be demanding, so it's crucial to prioritize self-care. Get enough sleep, eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and make time for activities that bring you joy and relaxation. Taking care of your physical and mental well-being will contribute to your overall academic success.

Use effective study techniques: Experiment with different study techniques to find what works best for you. This may include creating visual aids, using mnemonic devices to remember information, practicing retrieval by quizzing yourself, or teaching the material to someone else. Find the techniques that enhance your understanding and retention of the material.

Stay motivated and focused: Set clear goals for yourself and remind yourself of the reasons why you're pursuing your education. Break down your long-term goals into smaller milestones, and celebrate your achievements along the way. Surround yourself with a supportive network of friends and family who can encourage and motivate you during challenging times.

Balance your workload: Avoid overloading yourself with too many courses or extracurricular activities. Be realistic about what you can handle and maintain a healthy balance between your academic responsibilities and other aspects of your life. Remember that quality of work is more important than quantity.

Manage stress effectively: College life can be stressful, so it's important to have effective stress management strategies. Find healthy coping mechanisms such as exercise, deep breathing exercises, mindfulness or meditation, and hobbies that help you relax and recharge. If you feel overwhelmed, don't hesitate to reach out to your college's counseling or support services.

Remember that everyone's learning style and preferences are unique, so it's important to adapt these tips to suit your own needs. Experiment, learn from your experiences, and make adjustments along the way. College is a time of growth and exploration, so embrace the journey and enjoy the process of learning and self-discovery.