Dear Reader, ToastPop is just like you. It’s a blog written by college students, for college students. So, we want to be your source for success and style when returning to campus this fall. James and I have survived and thrived in our first year at college, and we want to share with you some things we’ve tried that have helped us get through and we would love to see you try them too! These practices will make go-getting, get-things-done people out of those less than motivated, bring order to the lives of busy bodies, and most importantly, boost grades to satisfactory levels.
Start assignments ASAP—It’s ambitious and a good time-management practice, and especially useful for big papers and projects. With the extra time on your hands in the long run, you can get help or a second opinion on your work. It’s also a good time to pay attention to detail, especially if the little stuff counts! The end result will bring a good grade and ease of mind the night before the due date.
Take notes with pens and highlighters—Title your note pages with a blue ink pen, write subtopics in black ink, and highlight important concepts; or whatever works for you. Labeling and color-coding your notes is great for organizing and studying.
Read the textbook— Studying is also known as “hitting the books” for a good reason. Crack the textbook while studying, even if a reading assignment isn’t given; you may find some useful information that can help you on the test or exam.
Prioritize—Feeling swamped with homework? Overwhelmed by clubs or social responsibilities? Stressed out about a ton of work-related tasks? Take a moment and make a to-do list. First write out as many tasks that come to mind that need to be done. Use some detail and basic sentence structure. Instead of writing “English homework” or “fundraiser”, write instead “write thesis for paper in English” or “buy supplies for club fundraiser” so you remember exactly what you’re supposed to do. Then, next to each task, write its deadline or set your own if it doesn’t have one. You’ll feel a sense of
relief seeing how you can spread out your projects and obligations over a period of days! Tackle your list by working on the tasks with the soon-approaching time limits first and stay motivated by crossing out each completed activity. Make your to-do list early in the week each week as you start getting your assignments. Use a whiteboard, chalkboard, or a notepad app for more eco-friendly (and convenient) list-making.
Meet New People – Chances are you will start the year off not knowing very many people, or perhaps no one at all. It doesn’t sound like the easiest thing in the world, but meeting new people and making friends in college is a pretty essential thing. One major benefit of knowing the people you attend school with is that you can help each other with assignments, let each other know when class is canceled or something they missed in class if they were sick, among other great things. Who knows, you may even end up being best friends! Just start a conversation over your class if you have nothing else to talk about and you will find that making new friends and meeting your classmates is a fun and simple thing to do.
Use a Planner – I don’t care who you are, unless you are half robot you may find yourself confused about when an assignment is due or what it was even about. Most all professors will require you to keep track of your work (especially homework) outside of class. The best and most effective way to keep your college life on track and on schedule is to buy a planner. You don’t have to get too fancy, or perhaps you want to, either way a simple planner can make all the difference. Don’t find yourself faced with the decision of what to do when you have conflicting appointments or assignments, just put in the extra effort and write everything down in a planner.
James and I remember standing in your shoes: days of classes, nights of homework, and an ever-active social scene, along with attempting to maintain a paying job. It can be tense, taxing, and nerve-racking facing it all at once! But, in the midst of it all, we were students less stressed, more informed, and in control, and you can be too with these tips and tricks. It may mean more time and effort, incorporating these few things into your routine, but it’s worth it when your time is productive and your grades look good! ToastPop wishes you the best in starting your life at college! We hope this advice gets you off to a good start in college, and that you’ll come back for more of the best blog you’ll ever taste!