So, you have enrolled in college and now you are a freshman. The worst is probably behind you, since you’ve passed your entrance exam, right? Well, not exactly. College holds many trials for freshmen students. Getting good grades on your midterms and finals, managing your finances, having a decent social life, and getting some shut eye are just some of the challenges you’ll face.
Since I went through all this, and discovered some efficient tactics for college life management, I can tell you that it’s not too difficult to find a good balance. So, without any further delay, here are the 10 things that will come in handy during your college years.
1. Recording device
Alright, it appears that you are not allowed to record lectures, and some professors might have an issue with it, so make sure they don’t know you have a recording device. You can place it in some sort of a casing or in a bag and leave it on the desk in front of you. Try to find a seat in the front row, in order to get the best audio quality possible, and try not to make too much noise to mitigate the interference.
Once you have your lectures, you can transfer them to your PC or laptop, and when you start studying you can transcribe them, and have the highest quality notes possible when the midterms draw near. Furthermore, simply transcribing the lectures will etch them into your mind, so the whole studying process will be a lot easier.
2. Mastering holistic learning
One of the major adaptations you’ll have to go through when you are a college student is learning to cope with higher expectations. You see, in elementary and in high school, your teachers could let you slide even if your knowledge was not sufficient for a particular grade. After all, we are not able to be really good at everything so it’s natural that some subjects will give us a harder time. Considering how this was the case, our teachers had the tendency to reward good effort, even when our knowledge was lacking.
College professors are a different story. You chose this path and you want to become a specialist, so do not expect to be applauded for your efforts and will to learn – you need to give concrete, elaborate and correct answers. So, it would be for the best if you could master holistic learning.
Holistic learning means that you are able to retain a lot of information and make connections between them, so you need to be fully invested and constantly think about what you are learning. When you learn, divide your text into questions, or to be precise, as you read think about the questions your lesson answers, then learn the lesson as a set of answers to those questions.
Use all of your senses to remember things and to create more solid memories. In other words, see if there are videos or pictures that exemplify what you are studying.
Try to find patterns as you learn, and constantly ask yourself if you’ve already heard something similar so that you can try to make connections. These are all of the necessary techniques to answer exam questions elaborately because your professor wants to see that you understand what you are talking about and that you know how that knowledge can be applied.
3. Study group
In all honesty, this is a double-edged sword. My study group was great and they were really diligent and both eager to learn and to explain things if you were having any trouble. We knew how to have fun as well, but whenever we were running on a tight schedule, learning was a number one priority. On the other hand, I was also a part of different groups, and just like me, these different members were easily distracted and they would often digress from the topic at hand.
So, even though we all had a good time and some great conversations, the amount of work done was insufficient. In other words, each of us individually would have finished the whole group project faster than the amount of time it took us to finish it all together because we were only a distraction for one another.
As we have already mentioned, in order to truly study for serious exams, you needed to understand your materials and get some good additional sources of information.
With videos, our retention capacity is far stronger, and there are so many bloggers now who covered specialised niches, that a variety of different academic topics are covered in YouTube videos. So, when you are having trouble and struggling with some concepts, see if there is a video that explains it, this will really help you a lot.
College will require immense mental strength and willpower, so learning how to handle hard work would be wise. The best way to learn to power through a tough task is physical exercise.
Since you’ll be stuck at lectures for a long time, and then either learning or having fun with friends, you’ll need some exercise to add a bit of healthy lifestyle to the equation. It is a bit tough to squeeze in workouts in your schedule, but after a few months you get used to it and it really benefits you.
6. Home remedies
During your lectures and breaks, you are going to be surrounded by a lot of different people, which is not a bad thing, of course. However, during seasonal illnesses or during any sickness outbreak, this is not the best place to be, since no one is safe. There are numerous conditions when the illness is dormant and can still be transmitted even if the symptoms haven’t manifested yet. In other words, you can easily get sick.
As mentioned it is good to exercise and live a bit healthier just to maintain our immune system, however, there are things you should do and things you should buy, just in case everything doesn’t go so well and you start feeling sick. Here is a list of illnesses that you are likely to get as a student, and some ways of preventing them.
In short, you should always remember to wash your hands, take your vitamins, eat fruit, get flu shots etc. Make sure you go through the link, since it has a detailed description of the most common diseases and illnesses and how to treat them effectively.
This is actually one thing I did not have enough of, and in retrospect, my life would have been a lot easier back then, now that I think about it. The fear of missing out is what kept me awake, and why I always opted for some fun rather than a good night’s sleep. It was as if I thought something epic was going to happen and I wouldn’t be there to see it, but would definitely hear about it tomorrow.
It was really foolish, since nothing that amazing happened that was worth the exhaustion. The reason why we enjoy nights out is because we are with people we care about, and that can always be arranged, no need to sacrifice countless hours of sleep.
So, if you want to have a pleasant time in college and not be under constant stress or suffer headaches, learn how to rest and recover. Eat some food that can help you fall asleep easier and turn off your computer a bit earlier since those memes will be there tomorrow as well.
Apps are awesome! They help you remember things, they can help you get organised, they can even help you earn some money and kill some time as you are waiting for the exam results. I use apps today as well, but they have started to become a trend during my freshman days. I used them as reminders for my daily tasks, I used them to help me organise my budget and save money and to help me wake up.
Turns out your alarm clock can be so much better if you have something that monitors your sleep cycle and can wake you up during a sleep phase when it doesn’t feel so painful. Now there are even better versions of these apps for both android and iPhone. Moreover, here is an awesome list of apps that will help you save and earn some cash, which I found incredibly useful since I always had trouble making ends meet during my student days.
9. Coupons and discounts
To quote “War and Peace” by Leo Tolstoy — “The strongest of all warriors are these two — Time and Patience.” Turns out he was completely right, if you wait long enough there will always be some sort of discount in some store or supermarket. Moreover, there are all kinds of incentive plans to secure customer loyalty so, if you just ask around or wait enough, chances are you can get almost anything you want and need a lot cheaper.
You can also monitor these things online and find which brands or stores are offering discounts or coupons. Like I said all it takes is a little research and you can easily save 30% of the money you would otherwise have spent on a monthly basis.
Finally, to continue our finance management tips, you need to have an eBay account. You can both get items cheaper, and earn money by selling things you no longer use. Sites like Amazon and Etsy can also be your useful allies. On Amazon, you can find tons of audio books, which will come in handy if you have literature classes. Audio books can help you go through materials quicker, if you have focus problems and if you read at a slower pace.
I hope you will have a really exciting and fun time while you are going through college. There are a lot of stressful and amazing days ahead of you, and it is truly a time of life you will always remember and cherish. Use these tips if you can, they can definitely come in handy, and may you reach mastery in your passion.
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