It’s always a surprise to me when students think that success is going to hit them over the head as they just stand there. Nope, folks, success in college is no accident. You have to work at it.
How can you achieve your goals? By taking college seriously from the very first minute, you can increase the odds that you will do well. What does taking college seriously look like?
For starters, you get the book that is required and you read it, take notes on what you read, and study it. Attend the lectures and ask questions. Be engaged in what you are learning.
So, how do you read the book? Look at the Table of Contents and see what you will be reading about. Use a highlighter to bold certain parts of the text, but do not bold everything! I had a student once who highlighted the entire page…..so what good was that?
Keep in mind that you might be a person who is distracted by underlining and highlighters, so keep this in mind if you plan on reading the book more than once. Also keep this in mind when you go to purchase used textbooks. I used to sit on the floor next to the college bookstore’s used books and flip through them until I found a book with minimal underlining. Sometimes folks only underline or highlight the first few chapters, so you might find that the rest of the book is “clean” which is important to those folks who get distracted easily. Perhaps your instructor will emphasize different ideas from the ones that someone highlighted, so do not depend entirely on a former student’s notes in the book to help you this term.
You might find it more helpful to put notes in the margins, rather than underlining. Try underlining, highlighting, and margin notes until you find what works best for you personally.
After the lecture, try to take time that day and go over your notes, supplementing them from the textbook. Did your professor emphasize certain points more than others? It is important to him or her, so it automatically is important to you! Review throughout the semester, so that you don’t get stuck the night before an exam and have to cram. That’s no fun and it rarely works very well.
Are there any study habits you find helpful? Do you have any questions or topics you would like me to cover on the blog? I am as near as your computer and I am here to help you have success in college! It won’t hit you over the head by surprise, but is the result of hard work and dedication. You can do it!