College would be so much fun if it wasn’t for the schoolwork, right? It would just seem like a never-ending summer camp. However, you’re probably not spending money and taking out student loans for an endless summer camp. You’re there for a degree, and I’m assuming that if you’re reading this, you don’t want to just pass – you want to do a good job. Now, I don’t know about you, but my level of enjoyment in life significantly plummets when I’m not getting the grades I want. But at the same time, I also don’t want to spend my life cramming for tests and writing comparisons of the psyches of William Shakespeare and Steven Spielberg. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to stay on top without collapsing from exhaustion.
1. Plan out Your Calendar.
About 65% of humanity learns visually. Once you get all your syllabi from your professors, get a calendar or a day planner, and map out your semester. This will give you a physical reference to go back to when you’re deciding what and when to study. This can be a lot of fun for your creative types. #Gel-pens, am I right?
2. Quizlet is the best thing in the world.
I love Quizlet.com. It’s been the most important discovery of my college career (and that includes triple-shot expressos). Quizlet is an online study tool that you can use to prepare for tests. If you’re like me and you learn from trial and error, Quizlet is the place for you. You can either create a set of flashcards to practice from on your own, or you can search to see if someone has already made a set for your class (and someone usually has).
3. Get your Essays Proofread.
You might be like me and think that a few grammatical errors aren’t the end of the world so winging it is fine. Unfortunately, it’s hard to proofread your own writing because you’re already used to seeing it. Take it from someone who did A+ research (lived in the library for a week) but got a B grade back because she didn’t get her work edited. You can tell I’m not bitter about it…
So, how can you get your work edited? There are a few options:
- You can reach out to the English majors on your campus. Chances are, there will be a few of them who want to get editing experience under their belts. They’ll probably charge you, but unless you’re submitting a dissertation, it’s not going to be a lot.
- Some campuses already have tutoring/editing programs on their campus. Schedule an appointment with them.
- There are certain free versions of automatic editing software and websites available. They won’t have the personal touch of a real person, but it will catch common grammatical errors, and it works in a pinch. I recommend Grammarly!
4. Go👏🏼 To 👏🏼 Your 👏🏼 Classes!
After all-you are paying for it. Sure, you can get notes from your friends afterward, but you can’t get everything from notes. If that were true, they would just have you buy the textbook and tell you to be ready for an exam in 3 months. Professors exist for a reason. They’re there to encourage discussions and lead you to understanding. You have so much to learn from them!
5. Take Notes.
Even if you can’t keep up with the material, even if you’re going to get the notes from someone later, take notes. Why? Because it will keep you focused on what is being taught, and writing helps you remember what you learned.
6. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Celebrated author and physician Dr. Sandeep Jauhar, says, “The only mistake you can make is not asking for help.” We are meant to lift one another up. There is no shame in asking for help whatsoever, and what’s great about college is that there are so many ways to receive help. Maybe you have friends who are good at certain subjects. Reach out to them! Or if you’re struggling with a specific class, reach out to the professor. Professors have office hours so you can go in and talk to them. I don’t know how it works at other schools, but getting to know my professors at my university, SAGU, has been one of the most valuable aspects of my time in college. There’s always help to be found.
So what do you think about this list? What tips would you give? Let me know in the comments below!
About the Author
Stephanie Van Wyk
Stephanie received her bachelor’s degree in English from Southwestern Assemblies of God University in 2021. She is passionate about the world of storytelling, artistry in all mediums, and is incapable of resisting any dog over 50 pounds.