I hear people make this statement all the time. When the going gets rough they just shrug it off and move on. They rationalize their poor performance by saying that it will do.
I think that most students say this as a front to hide their disappointment to their fellow students. And I really hope that this is the case… Because as a well performing college student I will tell you from personal experience-
YOUR GRADES MEAN EVERYTHING!
One C your first semester won’t break your GPA, but you need to understand that college is an investment and a commitment. Don’t go in without motivation to do well. The classes that you take your first two years are the prerequisites to the final years of your schooling. Many majors and minors require a certain GPA to allow you to declare and take specific classes. The school wants students who are serious and are willing to work hard. One slip up early on can seriously impede your ability to get into the classes you want/need.
Skipping classes, not turning in assignments, only spending 30 minutes studying…. These are all ingredients for failure. Some classes will be more important than others, some will require more work. So, I cannot stress how important it is at the beginning of each semester to sit down with your syllabuses from all your classes and figure out a tentative schedule that will work for you. Block out time each day/week for homework and studying. Most of the time professors make their assignments available far in advance so you can get started when it is convenient for you! If you get lucky and don’t have any work to get done use that time to organize your upcoming week, make notes for important events, clean out your desk drawers. Just get into the habit of sitting down, turning off your phone, logging out of Facebook, and focusing on school. That way it won’t be a huge shock when you have a big paper to do…or 4 big papers, 2 projects, and 3 tests to study for! It sounds like a waste of time but I did this right away my freshman year and I actually enjoyed the time to myself.
These are a few of my tips and the tricks that I have used over the years to be successful-
- USE A PLANNER- Mine is a weekly planner so that I can write things down on each day, I write notes about homework from each class and then I can cross them off when I finish them. It also gives me a sense of accomplishment.
- Sticky notes are awesome- make notes for what groceries you need, something you need to print off, etc.
- Find a pen/pencil that you like using- it will make taking notes slightly less painful
- Make study time a priority every week- it will pay off!
- Make study buddies in each of your classes that you can get together with before a test, to work on a big project or paper with. Setting these meeting times with classmates will hold you accountable to go and get work done!
I will graduate in 4 years. I will walk wearing honors cords. I will thank myself for the work that I put in. I will pay off my student loans knowing that I didn’t waste my time or money.
I don’t have all the answers. But I hope sharing my experience and what worked for me might help someone else be successful on their journey.
…because A’s and B’s will get my degree!