College is not easy. If you have yet to start, there are some things that you should know about it first. The decision to stay and live with your parents and go to a local school in your city or go somewhere further away and get a room or an apartment on your own instead is a massive decision. College is not just about what you learn in the lecture halls. It is an immersive experience that gets you ready for life. Depending on what sort of childhood you had, you may be unprepared for all of the little things that come along with leading an independent adult existence. As David Foster Wallace acknowledged in his now famous commencement address to the 2005 graduating class of Kenyon college, you need to live life with compassion and that means in all of the boring, difficult situations that you find yourself in, like at the supermarket after a long day at work, or stuck in traffic. You also have to worry about cooking for yourself every day, doing all your own laundry, paying your bills on time, maintaining a social life and lots of other things besides. You can be forgiven for thinking, especially in your first semester, that there is simply not enough time left to actually do any studying. This is obviously not the case, but being able to manage your time in a way that will be most effective for you is crucial if you are going to succeed. Here are a few tips for making studying easier:
- You will hear this a lot from people who have graduated from college, but there is no reason why you cannot start writing your papers when they are assigned to you. If you are in a class and you get a list of questions to choose from for a paper that needs to be submitted in eight weeks time, for instance, you should start researching and drafting an essay right away. Do not wait for a month because you can. Asking for extensions is a bad habit to get into because it only perpetuates the problem. Being proactive is the best course of action. Besides, the more time you allow yourself, you more chance you’ll have to talk to your professor about something you may not understand that well.
- There are some concepts that you will come across in college that you just will not get right away. It is normal, and in fact, it is part of the point of going to college. If you were never challenged, they would not be serving their purpose of expanding your mind and making you a compassionate, thoughtful person. There are lots of things that you can do though, such as playing college educational games. Struggling with calculus? No problem. Do not know Manet from Monet? There is a game for that too.
- Finally, picking your classes is an art that lots of people learn too late. Some classes may be more challenging than others, but the best thing to do is take the ones that make you want to learn. An intrinsic desire to know more is the greatest motivation for a class. Taking classes because you think they are simple and will allow you to more easily maintain an average is no way to spend the best years of your intellectual life.
I hope you enjoyed the post! What do you do to ensure success in your courses? Let me know 🙂
Thanks so much for reading, as always <3