5 Ways To Boost Your Grades

5 Ways To Boost Your Grades

Finals week is just around the corner and here's what you have to do to receive the grade you want
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It's that time of the semester... Finals week may seem far away but it's actually right around the corner. Everyone wants to go home and have a good time because it's everyone's favorite time of year: summer. It's starting to get warm which really makes you have the urge to skip class and have fun with your friends whether it's playing football or stay inside in your air-conditioned room.

We've all been there and it's something we all experience once a year, even twice a year counting winter break. You don't have a lot of time left to boost your grades. The following tips are some last minute strategies to help boost your grade and help prepare you for finals.

1. Read Over Your Notes

Now's the time to start looking over all of the notes you've taken throughout the semester. It may not seem like much but just reading through your notes every day will make it that much easier to remember the content later on and make studying less stressful in May. I'm not saying you have to study your notes every night for an hour. Just take 15 minutes for each subject to just read through them.

Let's say your final is open notes, start organizing them with labels using post-it notes. You'll be surprised how much time and stress it'll save you the day of the big exam! Keep in mind it will give you more time to study for the harder tests later!

If you have a final paper, don't wait two days before it's due to start it. Keep in mind you have 3 or more other classes to study for. Start the paper now, plan it out and draft it. It will make the final draft that much easier later.



2. Don't Be Afraid To Ask For Help

If you all listen to one tip in this article I hope it's this one. Asking your professor for help or asking them why you received a certain grade on a specific assignment is NOT a bad thing.

In fact, let me share a quick story with you...

Last semester I had written my first philosophy paper ever. I had no idea what structure I had to follow for this paper and I didn't care to ask I just read the prompt and "wing it". I felt I had written a strong paper regardless of not knowing the format, but when I received my grade I was disappointed. I then visited my professor at his office hours and read my paper with him explaining my meaning and approach to the prompt which allowed him to understand my thinking. I also discussed my lack of experience in the subject and after understanding my thinking he boosted my paper a whole letter grade.

There's always hope and professors are more understanding then you think. They're not out there to make our lives a living hell but to help us learn and reach our fullest potential. Asking for extra help shows you care (and even gives you little brownie points). Keep in mind this time is made for you and they're typically sitting in their office alone bored out of their minds.


3. Stay Organized

I don't mean to sound like your mom (or your academic advisor) but you NEED to have a planner or some type of calendar handy. I know you have one month left in the semester but this is a perfect case of the "better late than never cliché".

Once you have your calendar make sure you write all the dates, times, and locations of your finals. DO NOT SLEEP IN OR BE LATE. It wouldn't hurt to write down the due dates of your remaining assignments so you have enough time to complete them and put in your maximum effort.

And when you return to campus in the Fall, I expect you to have a planner...(You'll thank me for this one day).



4. Prioritize

This tip is short and simple. We're all different types of learners and different subjects are our strong suits. I'm a journalism major, you might be an econ major. That's life, I'm going to be better at different things than you are and vice versa.

Take your subjects and write them down. You can even use your previous assignments to help you. Rank your classes from hardest to easiest or maybe even your worst grade to your best. Study those classes at the top of the list over the bottom of the list. I'm not saying totally ignore your notes you've taken in the easier classes, but spend more time on the harder material.

We don't have all of the time in the word so use it wisely. You may have more leeway in some classes than you do in others.

5. Take Breaks and Get Sleep

The one tip I wish I listened to was to make sure you get some sleep. Do not pull all-nighters studying the day or two before your final exam. Once you reach a certain level of tired memorization becomes harder and studying becomes pointless because of the lack of awareness. You can always go to sleep and wake up and start studying the next morning.

When you plan on studying all day it's also important that you take breaks throughout. Whether it's a small break to give your brain a rest, or even a longer break to have some "you time" and get some lunch I can promise it's not going to change your results later.


Just like you, I'm a tired college student who wants to do my best even when the odds aren't in my favor. Remain calm and use the following month wisely. Finals will go well and at the end of the day, it isn't the end of the world if you get one bad grade.

Good luck to all and just like the Hunger Games once said, "may the odds be ever in your favor".

Cover Image Credit: Photo by Anete Lūsiņa on Unsplash

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Don't Be Afraid of Changing Your College Plan

It really isn't THAT bad...

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I can't claim to have any deep wisdom on life, but I at least have some good experience with a highly turbulent college career. I started as a game design major in a tech college in Rochester, NY, transferred to a college in Texas, and now I'm an English major at CofC.

My college life has been something of a roller coaster.

But I regret none of it. Maybe it would have been easier to stick to the track I was on initially, but I would never have been fully satisfied with it. Now I've finally found my place and, even though it may have taken a lot of shifting around, it was undoubtedly worthwhile.

I don't mean to say that everyone who is slightly dissatisfied with their major should transfer all over the country and change their major(I had to sacrifice the ability to get a minor because of the path I took, so I wouldn't recommend it to most people). I just believe that if you find yourself not liking the classes that are vital to your major or if you can't find a place at your current college, then changing your major or transferring isn't as horrible as you might imagine.

When I started college I was completely confident in what I wanted to do and what my future would look like. I thought it would be ridiculous for someone to stray from their initial path. That idea led to me deciding to transfer later than was smart.

I think everyone should know that having to change your plans for the future, sometimes in dramatic ways, isn't a bad thing. No matter how scary transferring and changing majors can seem, many people have done it before you and many will after, you aren't alone.

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