“College is the phase of your life, where you find yourself.” This adage very aptly describes the importance of college in the life of a student. However, the move from school life to college is a quite difficult one for young students. The new friends, new place and the new found independence can be quite overwhelming.
But, while college is all about these fun things, it also is about finding yourself and building your way towards a successful career through studies. In order to make the most of your college life, you need to capitalize on every single day at college. There would be tests and assignments, birthday parties and holidays; and handling them on daily basis might be a major challenge for college freshers.
If you are also facing this dilemma, we have provided some key tips below which will help you to extract the maximum out of the time you spend on your college campus. These tips are specific to studies and classroom, as you will surely find a million other ways to have fun while in college.
Participation in Class
No matter how much you hate it, Classroom and studies form the crux of your college life. In fact, that is the main goal (if not the only one) for which you join college. But, with lax attendance rules and peer pressure, college students can often get swayed into skipping classes while focusing on other extracurricular activities or just to hangout with friends.
This is not the right approach to your college life, if you want to make the most of it. In fact, many academic experts suggest that in addition to merely attending the classes, students should also focus more on what’s being taught and participate in the classroom activities. There are many advantages of being a more participative student in a classroom, it helps you get conceptual clarity over the topics being discussed while also connecting you with your classmates and building study networks as well as helps in building your confidence.
Once you start paying proper attention in classroom, you will realize that not everything that is being said or taught can be understood easily. In fact, you will surely have a number of questions with regards to different topics that are being discussed in the classroom by the teacher. Despite having such questions, many students refrain from asking these questions to the professors merely out of their shyness. But that is not the right approach.
You must always clarify all and any doubts you have regarding the topics being discussed in the classroom. Once you start asking questions, you will realize that asking a question is not really that hard. In fact, professors are known to grow fond of students who pay attention in the class and ask questions regularly. It may also turn out that many of your classmates may thank you (silently, if not publicly) for raising the questions, because even they had the same doubt but refrained from asking it due to nervousness.
Connect with your Professors
Thanks to the Bollywood film and general pop culture, we often picture our professors to be the ones who are there merely to insult and punish you while also giving you a lot of assignments and tests. But, this is as far from reality as you can be, as far as your teachers and professors are concerned.
If you want to be productive at college, you will have to take help of your professors, who will be more than happy to assist you on your academic journey. Your professors can help you understand difficult concepts more easily while also assisting you in developing a deeper conceptual clarity regarding the same. To top this, talking to your professors regularly will also help you in building a good rapport with them. At the end of the academic year, they would be very much willing to write a good recommendation letter for you or also help you in choosing the right academic path ahead.
Be clear about your future
College is that part of your life, when you would have several distractions to deal with. Be with hanging out with friends or going backpacking to the hills; but with all these extracurricular activities, it is very important to stay focused on the future. You will only be able to score good marks and prepare for a prosperous career ahead only if you are able to see the big picture. Therefore, it is very important for you to have the basic clarity about your future goals and also stay focused on the same during your college days.
Make or Collect Good Notes
Gone are the days when your studies were limited to school text books, in college you will have to expand your knowledge base reference books and prepare notes that cover a topic from head to toe. There might be instances when a topic is so complicated that you might have to refer 7-10 books just to understand the concept fully.
Now, buying or keeping all these books with you all the times is not possible, therefore you will have to prepare notes by referring to these books in library. Alternatively, you can divide a few topics for a concept among your group or classmates and start doing research or reference studies on those individually. Once everyone is done, you can share your notes with each other.
If you want an even shorter route to good notes, you can ask your seniors or the photo-copy guy, who will surely have a copy of the study notes of bright students from earlier years.
Making or collecting good notes will not only help you get the study material required to crack the college exams and also train you in the art of research and reference studies for a bright academic future.
Be more responsible
Think about college and the first thing that will strike you would be independence. But if you are a Spiderman fan, you would know ‘with great power…comes great responsbility’ and that is exactly what you would have to follow during your college days. Independence can be powerful and inspiring but at the same time, it can also be overwhelming. Therefore, college students have to ensure that along with enjoying their new-found independence they also act responsibly.
This means being responsible for all your actions, be it for studies, behavior, financials and everything that lies in between these three. Make sure that you attend your college classes daily and pay attention to the topics being discussed and concepts being taught. Similarly, you will also have to take care of your behavior with not only your professors and teachers but also your classmates and peers. Finally, coming to money; this is one aspect which will require discipline and responsible handling. So, be it going out for a dinner date or a weekend bag-packing trips, make sure you always keep it within your pocket money.
This is pretty self-explanatory! Once you join college, it is very likely that you will get out of the hard-core study schedule which you might have followed for Board exams. But, make no mistake, college studies are equally challenging if not more. Therefore, it is very important for you to start challenging yourself to keep complacency at bay.
In fact, being in college can be really empowering, if you are ready to go that extra mile and ensure that you study as far as you party. And this aspect of ‘challenging yourself’ is not only limited to your studies, college will give you several opportunities apart from studies (through extracurricular activities) to expand the horizons of your abilities. So, be it participating in a national level debate competition, or representing your college at an inter-collegiate festival, you must always challenge yourself to push the boundaries further.
So, there you have it folks, a few basic tips that will help you make your day at college more productive and constructive. Although, the points mentioned above are quite basic and obvious, many college students often end up ignoring them very easily. But, you are not one of them are you! So, start following these tips to extract the most of your college day.
If you feel, we have missed out on any other important tips that should be part of this list, please point them out in the comments section below. For more interesting tips about college life and making your life at college more interesting fulfilling, please subscribe to your newsletter.