After a long, hot summer of relaxing and sleeping in, it is time to buckle down and face the harsh reality that college is back in session.
That is right; it is time to set those alarm clocks and crack open those textbooks because the semester has begun and there is little room to fall behind.
For students that think that they can slack off, think again. These first few weeks are the most crucial of the entire semester because they set the standard for the year. Fear not, Mercerians, because there are many tips that can help to ensure that students start the year off on a good footing.
A great resource on campus is the Academic Resource Center. Students can get tutored in a broad variety of subjects, ranging from foreign languages to chemistry to English.
“I think that time in general is a huge issue for all students, especially freshmen, because I am not sure if they have a realistic view of college yet. I would encourage students to develop a daily, weekly, and monthly schedule and to look at your time in college as a 40 hour work week, as if it were a job,” explained Stephanie Mooring, Assistant Director of the ARC.
There are a number of techniques that students can try to help improve their studying skills. “On average you should plan to spend about two hours of study time for every hour that you are in class,” said Mooring.
Since most classes require reading, Mooring suggested that students time themselves reading five pages of their various textbooks to gather a realistic idea of how to gauge time.
“Another important tip is being an active learner by being prepared, paying attention and being an active note taker,” said Mooring.
Leanne Holtz, a senior majoring in biology with a chemistry minor, is a tutor at the ARC for psychology and an SI leader. Her biggest studying tip is that students should stay on top of their reading assignments and try to not get behind because it is hard to catch up.
She has developed a study method that she follows to help stay prepared for her classes.
“A generally good strategy is to read before class. Take notes while reading, and jot down notes and questions to ask. Take notes while in class and listen carefully in class, because each professor has different key words. Then go re-read and highlight the material because then you know the key concepts, so the second time that you read through, you are reinforcing the material,” explained Holt.
She also suggested organizing your time accordingly. “I have a lot of one hour breaks. As a freshman I used to goof off, but if you spend your day doing homework, then you have your nights free instead of staying up until 2 a.m. trying to finish work,” said Holt.
Along with time management, students should utilize the resources available at the ARC. The tutors are there to help. “On average, students that attend SI regularly make one letter grade higher than students that do not attend regularly,” said Mooring.
There are fewer grades in college and each assignment does count. Remember, it is much easier to begin on a good note than to attempt to play catch up at the end of the semester.
Worried about failing grades? F that!