1. Students Should Learn to Ask for Help.
While there is more structure in high school and students have some level of supervision from parents and teachers, college is more self-directed. Universities offer lots of resources that students can access to help them should they need them. The resources include tutoring, academic advising, career services, office hours with TAs and professors, and study groups. Students need to learn to ask for help if they are having difficulty in classes.
2. Students Should Find Study Tools That Work for Them.
Students should assess what study habits and tools work for them and continue to use them when they get to university. Tools include the use of a paper planner, mobile apps that deal with time and task management, use of flashcards, annotating and highlighting reading assignments, rewriting notes to meet their needs, among other things.
3. Set Time Each Week to Study for Each Class on their Schedule.
Students need to determine how many hours they will devote to each class on their schedule. It is not necessarily the number of hours that matters, rather the quality of the time spent studying that matters. Assess the assignments that you are given each week and schedule study time accordingly.
4. Be Mindful of Your Health
Students have access to mental health resources on campus as well as facilities to engage in physical exercise. If you are struggling with mental health issues, reach out and ask for help. Spend time on self-care activities regularly so you do not allow the stress of the new environment or classes to overwhelm you.
5. Reach Out to Students in Your Classes.
Yes, they are strangers but everyone is in the same boat as you. Reach out to other students and create study groups. It allows you to connect with more people on your university campus and you can work on assignments, projects, learn from each other, and study for exams together.
6. Multitasking Does Not Work.
Research shows that students who try to perform other tasks while studying are less likely to remember the information they were trying to study. What does that mean? Turn off the TV, mute your devices, close unnecessary tabs on your computer so that you can focus on the assignment you need to complete.
7. Be Sure To Get Enough Sleep.
Given the buzz of college dorms, the parties, the all-nighters, you need to remember to be kind to your body. Try to get 7-8 hours of sleep at least so it does not affect your academic performance or your physical and mental health. Try to get to bed at a reasonable hour so that you can be up in time for classes, try to limit naps and caffeine during the late afternoon and evening, and have a routine to unwind before bed.
8. Figure Out Early Where You Study Best.
Is it the library? Your dorm room? Study rooms in your residence hall or one of the on-campus buildings? Whatever it is, learn what works best for you so that you create a routine for yourself.
9. Do Not Procrastinate with Studying, Assignments, or Projects.
Plan, plan, plan! Learn to break down assignments and projects into short and long-term time management goals. Do not wait until the last minute to study for exams or start projects. Students should create schedules, using the method that works best for them, that allows them to track their assignments, projects, exams, daily class schedules, and their work and extracurricular commitments from the outset. Track your obligations with alerts on your phone, revisit your to-do list and your calendar regularly.
10. Work on Other Needed Skills.
Students should work on skills that are needed in college and in future employment, the so-called “soft skills.” They should further develop their leadership, analytical and communication skills, teamwork and problem-solving skills, social skills, and time management through interaction with professors and students, joining student organizations, and getting internships.
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