Wednesday, April 28, 2010

College Tips

By Ali Reap

College years are probably the most fun, yet most stressful of a person’s life. There are some tips that incoming students who will be living on a campus should know about college life that many people find difficult adjusting too. College students must balance things such as homework, studying, sports, partying, sleep and maintaining good grades. Many students find it hard to find time, and often put too much time into some of these activities.

Moving into a dorm room is a life changing experience, and often some of the best years of a young adult’s life. You are living on your own, without parental supervision, so as much as it is fun, it is often a hard environment to sit down and do homework. Buying a planner is the first step to advising this problem. It is some where to write down everything you have to do every day, and most colleges sell them in their book store or you could get it at pretty much any local stationary store. If you know when something is due you are more likely to make the time to get it done. You have to make sure you actually use it, because you will find it extremely helpful to have written down all your assignments so you can get them done on time. The planner must be brought to every class so you don’t forget to write down anything, and as soon as the teacher tells you the assignment, or you see it on the board write it down immediately, so you don’t forget to do it.

Another smart idea if you are living on campus is to take advantage of the library hours. The library is a perfect place to study. Studying in a dorm room could become very difficult, especially for the people who live in rooms with three or four people or even a house where distractions could occur. The library is the perfect place to get away from distractions that just prolong your homework period. You can just go to the library, focus and surprisingly get it done much sooner. When working on a project with a partner or group of people or even by yourself you will find the library a useful place to get this done. The library is also a place that is often full of help if you need it for an assignment. There is most often a media specialist who works in the library who will help you with any research you need, as well as assisting in finding any books, magazines, or websites you may need. The library is usually open pretty late, and weeks of finals and midterms the library hours are usually extended.

Another useful tip for living at college is to eat right. Eating right is extremely important for a college student because it gives you energy. Energy is important for a busy college student, especially when you have lack of sleep and need to stay focused for the day. Eating right will enhance your ability to think and do work, as well as have the energy to stay up and do it. The cafeteria is a hard place to make healthy decisions because often the better tasting things are the fattier things. You must be careful of the “Freshman Fifteen,” which is often said because freshman students typically have a hard times adjusting to making the right food decisions in the cafeteria, and often gain as much as fifteen pounds. Gaining weight is usually something people do not want to do, so make the healthier decision as often as possible. Of course you are going to be expected to treat yourself once in a while, but that is typical.

Reading is one of the most important things to do in college. You will get tons of reading assigned guaranteed, but if you actually complete it all, it will help you out a lot. You will save yourself a lot of time and effort when it comes time to write a paper or take a test. Text book chapters are probably among the hardest things to read, because usually it is just fact after fact and it is a lot to take in at once. If you spread out your reading time, it makes it a lot easier to retain the information and actually learn it. Reading will not only strengthen your knowledge in that class but it is also healthy for the mind to read.

Sleep is probably the most important part of college. Sleeping is what every college student loves to do but often does not get enough of. Sleep is one of the body’s main source of energy, and often when living at school it is easy to stay up late with roommates and friends on nights were you need to get up early. Try as best you can to save your late nights for the weekends and get as much rest during the week as you can. Lack of sleep leads to falling asleep during class, and it lowers your immune system so you are more susceptible to getting sick.

Going to class is the last advice I could give to a college student. Some schools give a certain amount of days you can miss before it starts to affect your grade and others schools don’t; sometimes it depends on the teacher. Sometimes teachers tell you that if you miss class then it is your loss, and they are totally right. Missing class is necessary at time, but all I could tell you is to avoid it as much as you can because going to class is extremely necessary. By going to class you have the chance to ask questions, have group discussions, and learn hands on about the information you are learning. If you do not go to class, or you miss often, then you are more likely to get a bad grade in that class.

College will be some of the best years of your life. Tips on studying, sleeping, eating, planning, going to class, and any other strategies friends or family could tell you from experience would be worth considering. Going to college is a privilege and remember that there are people in this world who would die to go to college, so take advantage of your opportunity. I wish you all the best of luck with your studies!

Ali Reap is an undergraduate student at St.Thomas Aquinas College. She is studying Communications with a focus in Journalism. She hopes find an internship she greatly enjoys. She aspires to become a journalist or a photographer.

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