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5 College First Year Tips To Follow

College is an amazing experience but nerve-wracking for many students in the beginning because of how unfamiliar it is.

Make that transition from high school to college easier with these five college first year tips to follow on day one.

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college first year tips

Make Class Your Top Priority

As a brand-new student, you’ll be faced with many new experiences, but don’t forget about class.

Whether it’s living away from home for the first time or going to wild college parties, your first year will offer plenty of activities to do.

However, remember that academics is what got you in, and why you’re there to succeed. Make your classes the first priority, and you’ll have time to enjoy everything else after.

Aim For Perfect Attendance

Attendance is a huge factor in college success.

While perfect attendance isn’t always possible, it should be your goal when it comes to classes. A huge adjustment for college freshmen is professors often not requiring attendance.

In many of their eyes, you only need to be there for the midterm and final exams. They are not paid according to how many times you fill a seat.

As a result, most of them will not make you attend with penalties for tardiness. Whether you pass or fail is entirely up to you and your effort. Better attendance will make learning and passing classes much easier.

Devote More Time To Studying

Study twice as much as you think you have to already.

College-level work is going to be an adjustment in terms of quantity of material covered and difficulty. It won’t be like high school where you can just cram the night before.

Take advantage of your time and start studying well ahead of every quiz and exam. You’ll receive a class syllabus on the first day of each course.

Use it to your advantage:

  • Highlight your tests and quizzes
  • Plan out dedicated study times

Use this information to get ahead of the curve prep-wise. If you think you’ll need one hour for a concept, go ahead and schedule for two hours.

Physically Write Down Notes

Don’t underestimate the value of pen and paper.

With today’s technology, it’s tempting to attend lectures and take notes down via laptop or tablet. However, a tried and true method that works better for memory is physically writing it down:

  • The actual act of writing the words down helps commit them to memory better.
  • You can reinforce that understanding by transcribing written notes onto your computer.

At that time, you can also expand them and include other information that you wouldn’t have had time to get down during class itself.

Take Advantage Of Office Hours

Use your professors’ office hours to your advantage.

All professors are required to have office hours available to students. Office hours are specific time blocks professors set aside to meet with students and answer questions.

Common office hour activities include:

  • Helping students better understand material from recent class
  • Going over student assignments
  • Discussing research projects or papers
  • Brainstorm graduate school options
  • Discussing career/academic track

In general, office hours are designed to provide as much one-on-one assistance possible within those specific blocks. Don’t be shy to use them when you genuinely need help or clarity on the material.

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Todd Marcus

Written by Todd Marcus

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