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August 16, 2013 at 8:00 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Back to School: College Edition

By Colleen Hammer More Blogs by This Author

It's August, and you know what that means: School's coming. Commercials on TV are already showing "Back to school" sales pitches, and the weather is getting chillier. Fall hangs in the distance, and many of you will be returning to school. Some of you may already be in school.

 You've already gotten out your hoodie sweatshirt, and you're calculating what you need for school. But before you stress too much, I've compiled helpful tips to get you through college this year. So strap on your backpack, slip on comfortable shoes, and get ready to prep for college the fun way.

Get to Know Your Campus

You may be overwhelmed by the size of your campus, but looks can be deceiving. Grab a campus map and figure out where your classes are before you attend. This will save you the trouble of being late the first day.

Once you figure out where your classes are, plan your day. Pick an easy time for you to eat, take a break, and do necessary homework. Even if you can't plan your entire day, at least try to figure out where you are going to be at a certain time. This will make it easier for you to fit in other things you want to do, like eat, nap, or exercise.

Don't Be Afraid to Speak Up!

If you feel like you are struggling in your class, speak to your professor about it. Emailing them is fine, but speaking directly to them makes more of an impression. Don't be just a voice. Your professor will work with you and help you to improve your grade and performance.

The best thing I ever did in my Psychology class was talk to my professor during his office hours. Not only did my grade improve, but my professor was able to walk me through anything I didn't understand in class. A professor's office hours are usually listed in the syllabus, and on the board on the first day of class.

Living with a Roommate

Sharing a space with another person can be tough. Get to know your roommate. Try to respect each other's privacy. If the roommate has a TV, ask if you can use it. Make a list of who needs to clean, etc. If your roommate has an early AM class, try to be respectful to their sleep. Also, realize and accept that you may not always be the best of friends.

If you have an issue with your roommate, talk to them. If your roommate is still giving you problems, talk to a Resident Advisor/Assistant about the issue.

Fountain of Knowledge

It's okay if you don't know what you want to major/minor in. If you feel lost, talk to an advisor and gain ideas. Since there are so many possibilities, you may feel stressed.

Take classes that interest you. You may just find something within your class, and it could be your major. Figuring out your major and minor doesn't have to be in a certain order, so keep in mind that you don't need to do things a certain way. Talking to someone is the best way to figure out what interests you, so don't hesitate to do this.

Another word of “knowledge,” take homework to the library, or a private setting. If possible, avoid music unless it helps you become more productive. Eliminate distractions. If you feel confused, join a study group. Keep it between 3-5 members, or else it turns into a social event.

Staying Focused

If you ever feel like you need someone to talk to, contact the counseling services. Even if it's not a huge deal, a counselor can help. Whether it's a breakup, a bad grade, or just a bad day in general, a counselor will care enough to listen.

Staying on track in college can pay off immensely. Use sticky notes, flash cards or highlighters when studying. Don't be afraid to highlight a key term in a used book. Finding a term easier can save you studying time, and also make it easier to remember.

Don't cram studying. Take breaks, and study for an hour. Don't sit glazed looking at a term. If you feel you are losing focus, take a break and come back to it. It'll be better in the long run.

Sure, you will have good days and bad days. You may even have more bad days than good. You may forget a textbook. But remember, you are only human. Understand that mistakes happen, and learn from it. Hopefully these tips helped you to succeed in college, and make it a great experience too!

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