So you’ve chosen your major and are excited to get yourself off to college? With much to look forward to, college is a time of new adventures and lots of academic development. It’s natural to want to make the most of your college years- but perhaps you’re not quite sure how? When wrapped up in all the excitement, sometimes the practicalities are forgotten! If you’re looking to get ahead in college, you’ll want to take a look at these simple tips.
1. Practice your writing skills
Great writing skills are often essential in college, and practice makes perfect! If you didn’t love writing essays too much in school- now’s the time to change that! Try and set yourself a few writing tasks over the summer to help you practice. Perhaps treat yourself to a book on essay writing skills. Remember, good writing is as much about excellent research and ideas as it is about grammar. Planning any piece of writing that you complete is crucial. When you plan ahead, you’ll have a map of your main points, and best-supporting evidence to guide you. Apps like Grammarly can be beneficial when you need a grammar and quality check.
2. Extracurricular activities
Employers will often be faced with a large number of candidates who all have the same major. With this in mind, you’ll want to try and stand out. One way that you can do this at college is to get involved in some extracurricular activities. You could write for the college newspaper, join the debate team, or involve yourself in some charity work. When you graduate, you’ll be glad of anything that gives you a competitive edge in the jobs market. Any networking that you can do within your chosen field now is advisable.
3. Work experience
Some students don’t wish to work alongside their studies; due to time management factors. It’s all about personal preference, and you should never take on too much and burn-out. The fact is though, many employers will look for a least a little experience, even if it’s just a short internship. If you feel that you can juggle a job and your studies it’s worth considering this.
4. Transcription services
Sometimes it’s hard to keep up in a lecture; you’re trying to listen, take notes, and think of questions to ask. To get ahead in college, it can be a good idea to invest in an academic transcription service. Doing so can help you to get full and accurate class notes that you can review later. You’ll have no more anxiety about losing your notes (or trying to read them)! When you’re investing time and money in your education, you’ll want to make the most of every lecture and seminar.
5. Time management
Time management is vital when it comes to success in college. It’s a good plan to create a routine of how much time you will dedicate to studying each day. Break each assignment down into smaller tasks that are more manageable.
Make time for social occasions each week to unwind, yet don’t go overboard! The key to staying happy and healthy at college is all about balance. Set yourself goals to drive your success. Your goals should relate to what you want to get out of college. These could be goals about grades, about work experience, or perhaps about making new connections.
6. Budget your finances
The last thing that you want is feeling the pressure due to money! When you feel stressed about your finances, your academic performance is likely to suffer. The best thing to do is to create a monthly and weekly budget. Factor in all your expenses and plan realistically for your outgoings. Blindly spending is never a good plan if you want to keep things running smoothly. A solid financial plan for the year will keep your stress levels right down.
Chat to your careers advisor
Have a chat to your careers advisor and see if they can help you to define your career goals. Perhaps you already have a good idea of what you want to do after college- but maybe not. If you're considering a post-grad, they can discuss your options with you. An advisor can ensure that you are doing all of the right things to work towards your chosen future job.
Simple things like eating well, exercising and getting enough sleep will aid your academic performance. Don’t forget to put time aside to have fun with your friends. The happier and more relaxed than you feel, the more likely you are to excel.