How to Excel in College

College can be daunting- you deal with settling into a new environment, finding your set of people, and just getting used to staying alone. Additionally, you also need to worry about excelling in your courses. Even though there is no particular strategy, here are some tips that I found useful:

#1 Take classes you are interested in

Yes, there are several classes you are required to take for your major but there is also wide flexibility offered in the general education section. Most universities have such a broad expanse of choices to offer! Look through the courses offered and enroll in the ones you know you will enjoy. Wanting to learn in a class makes the course material 10 times easier.

#2 Professors

It is important that you take courses you are interested in but also enquire about the professors teaching the course. It is possible that you find an intriguing course but the professor isn’t that good or vice versa. Ask your seniors or use different sites that most universities have that give a review of the courses.

#3 Punctuality

Once you enroll in a course do not think that it is an easy course or a course that I have a lot of background information in so I can skip class. Be on time and pay attention to what the professor is saying. Take notes- it will help you in the long run and especially during exam season. Even if you haven’t gotten enough sleep the last night, try and pay full attention in class.

#4 Ask questions and participate

Don’t be afraid to raise questions in class. Clarify your doubts – it is possible that your classmates were also wondering about the same or may not have thought of it. If you do not want to raise it in front of the entire class, reach class early and ask your doubt or stay back after the class ends. Do not keep it to yourself. It also shows the professor that you are putting extra effort in class and want to know more.

#5 Establish a study routine

Use your calendar and plan out your day- give specific timings to different courses and stick to that schedule. Do not leave things for the last minute and be on track in terms of your assignments. More than that you also need to ensure that you are opening your book regularly. If you think you will not be able to stick to it then find a study buddy. Most students in your class would be more than willing to help you out and are themselves looking for someone to study with. It will help you be motivated and even stay up to date with your assignments. Moreover, if you miss a class due to some unforeseen reason, you can rely on someone to give you the notes.

About the Author: 

Lavanya Agarwal is a sophomore at the University of Virginia. She is planning to major either in Commerce or Economics with a minor in Psychology. At UVA, she is involved with Profit with Purpose, Student Council, Bharatiya Council, and Salsa Club. She loves to explore different places and travel. You can find her on LinkedIn.

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