It’s officially back to school szn, and for many ~18-22 year olds, that means heading back to college. I’m about to begin my last year of undergraduate education, and after many failures and successes throughout my years of schooling, I wanted to share my tips to create the best college experience for yourself as possible. Here are 5 things to implement when it comes to achieving academically:

  1. It all starts with organization. If you are not organized from the beginning, you will precious time later scrambling to establish a routine for yourself instead of studying/writing/rehearsing. I’m assuming in the X amount of years you have lived on this earth that you have learned that banking on simply remembering your to-do list doesn’t cut it. Get a written planner, desk calendar, online cal in the cloud, app…whatever outlet works for you to lay tasks needing accomplished and goals needing to be smashed. It will make a difference.
  2. If your class is reading heavy, learn how to skim smart. Sometimes you will encounter a class that makes you question if the professor realizes that you are in more classes than one. And for someone that feels guilty not reading every single word on a page (me), learning how to condense the reading material is essential. One trick that has always worked for me is lightly reading a passage, highlighting key words and phrases. Then, I go back and re-read the section and write out an outline in my notebook. This helps me prioritize the key material in a passage instead of making note of every word on the textbook page.
  3. Turn off your phone. Or at least put it on silent. I find that if I even have my phone on the same table as my study materials, my phone always wins. Powering down eliminates all distractions and is honestly refreshing .
  4. Know when studying with others works, and when it doesn’t. There are some times when brainstorming and talking through concepts works, and when it’s best to work alone. Sometimes, it can even depend on the semester, or even the class. Being aware of how you work through different assignments can boost or tank your productivity.
  5. Remember, there are only 24 hours in a day. School comes first, but there is more to your college experience than homework. Be realistic about what can be accomplished each day, and make time for fun with friends, clubs, and new experiences!

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