college study tips

8 Tips To Be A Better College Student This Semester

If you want to ace that exam or get a better mark on that assignment, all you gotta do is follow these easy eight steps.

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Midterm season is sneaking up on us college students. With tests filling up our schedules and stress on overload, it sure would help to have some tips for keeping on track to maintaining that GPA. Check out my top eight here!

1. Use an agenda or a planner

You may think that you'll remember that this homework assignment due in three days, this essay is due in two weeks, or this exam is coming up next Thursday, but it is easy to lose track of all you need to do for your different classes. Use a planner to make note of when the due dates are or when then exam dates are to have fewer "I forgot we had that" moments.

2. Make a list

Sometimes it's not enough to just write down when certain things are due or going to happen. Organizing a to-do list in order of importance will help with managing priorities.

​ 3. Start!

The hardest part of an assignment is starting it- at least that's the case for me. Simply beginning or forcing yourself to start an assignment is a good way to get around this obstacle. It may not be easy, but hey it is a start.

4. Take notes in your own handwriting

Although it is easier to type out notes on a laptop or tablet during class, writing notes down is better for retaining the information. Consider rewriting your notes into a notebook, while adding on to ambiguous points or parts that need clarification, or taking down your notes on paper in the next lecture.

5. Study alone

Trying to complete assignments in the presence of others may be distracting or keeping you from finishing earlier. Consider getting your work done in a café, library, or study area where you can focus.

6. Ask for help

Office hours for professors and TAs are given out in the first few days of classes. Use these times to clarify parts of your work where you are confused or are uncertain about the solutions you've formulated. Reach out to someone in your class, or the same course; you may think that you're bothering them, but they won't mind, and offering some help in return would benefit the other party as well.

7. Stay ahead [of the game].

With college being much more fast-paced, its easier to lose yourself in all the deadlines. Try to complete assignments early and study long before exam periods to keep yourself in check and ahead of the game. There's nothing more satisfying than knowing you won't have to pull another all-nighter for an essay and instead beign able to catch some needed sleep.

8. Check up on yourself.

College is hectic, and its really easy to let yourself slip and forget to check on yourself. Give yourself a break by watching a movie, hanging out with friends, buying yourself a cup of bubble tea or a new shirt, or taking a nap. It's important to manage your health both mentally and physically; you really don't want to experience being really sick at such a hectic time. Be careful to not give yourself too many breaks though…

Try some of these pointers out and good luck on your next class or exam!

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Dear Mom and Dad, You Don't Understand What College Is Actually Like In The 21st Century

I can skip class. I can leave early, and I can show up late. But, ya see, I am not doing that.
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College is not what you think it is. I am not sitting in a classroom for six hours listening to a professor speak about Shakespeare and the WW2.

I am not given homework assignments every night and told to hand them in next class.

I do not know my daily grade for each of the five classes I am taking, and I don't know if my professor even knows my name.

College today is a ton different than how it was 20+ years ago.

I go to class for about maybe three hours a day. Most of my time working on "college" is spent outside of the classroom. I am the one responsible for remembering my homework and when my ten-page essay is due.

I can skip class. I can leave early, and I can show up late. But, ya see, I am not doing that. I am a responsible person, even if you do not think I am.

I do get up every morning and drive myself to class. I do care about my assignments, grades, my degree, and my career.

I spend a lot of time on campus having conversations with my friends and relaxing outside.

I am sick of older generations thinking that us millennials are lazy, unmotivated, and ungrateful. While I am sure there are some who take things for granted, most of us paying to get a degree actually do give a s**t about our work ethic.

Dear mom and dad, I do care about my future and I am more than just a millennial looking to just get by.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlyn Moore

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How To Stay Mentally Healthy In College

Our mental health is just as important as our physical health.

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Staying healthy in college seems really, really hard to do. Classes, friends, clubs, and the whole fact of living by yourself can create a lot of stress and anxiety. Most students, and people in general, don't really know how to deal with stress or how to take care of themselves mentally, leading to unhealthy behaviors physically and mentally. If you don't take care of your mental health, your physical health will suffer eventually. Here are a few tips and tricks to help take care of your mental health:

1. Eat a well-balanced diet

Eating fruits, vegetables, grains, and other healthy foods will help you feel more energized and motivated. Most people associate eating a balanced diet as beneficial for your physical health, but it is just as important for your mental health.

2. Keep a journal and write in it daily

Writing can be one of the most relaxing and stress-relieving things you can do for yourself. Writing down the issues you are struggling with or the problems you are encountering in your life on a piece of paper can help you relax and take a step back from that stress.

3. Do something that brings you joy

Take some time to do something that brings you joy and happiness! It can be really easy to forget about this when you are running around with your busy schedule but make some time to do something you enjoy. Whether it be dancing, writing, coloring, or even running, make some time for yourself.

4. Give thanks

Keeping a gratitude log — writing what brings you joy and happiness — helps to keep you positively minded, which leads to you becoming mentally healthy. Try to write down three things that brought you joy or made you smile from your day.

5. Smile and laugh

Experts say that smiling and laughing help improve your mental health. Not only is it fun to laugh, but laughing also helps you burn calories! There's a reason why smiling and laughing are often associated with happiness and joyful thoughts.

6. Exercise

Staying active and doing exercises that energize your body will help release endorphins and serotonin, which both act as a natural antidepressant. Keeping an active lifestyle will help you stay happy!

7. Talk out your problems

All of us deal with stress and have problems from time to time. The easiest and probably most beneficial way to deal with this stress and anxiety is to talk it out with a close friend, family member, or even a counselor.

8. See a counselor, peer mentor, or psychologist

Just like it was stated in the previous point, it is beneficial to talk out your problems with a counselor. We all have issues, and it is OK to ask for help.

Keeping up your mental health in college can be a struggle, and it may be hard to even admit you are not mentally healthy. This is OK; you are not alone. If you want to see a psychologist or would like to learn more about mental health, there are resources. You can also take a self-assessment of your mental health. If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, please, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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