How to Prepare for Your Next College Semester in 2014

Preparing to start new classes is a daunting task, be it online or on campus.

There’s the pain of registering for new classes, registering your car for on-campus parking, and also hunting down the books you need this semester. With so much to do, it’s easy to want to put it all on the back burner and just enjoy the rest of summer. All your friends are, so why shouldn’t you? Below is a collection of tips on how you can easily survive the first year of college without sacrificing much of your personal time.

Be Organized

This might sound like a really irritating idea, but it really isn’t as time-consuming as you might think. Buy a binder and some folders to keep all of your class assignments in. This way, when you throw a party in your dorm, you won’t have to freak out about finding your class assignments later. For those taking online classes, being organized is just as important.

While you may not have tangible papers to put in folders, make sure your computer has digital folders set up for each class you’re taking. The less time you spend scouring through your living space searching for class assignments (or on your computer), the more time you have to kick back and relax with friends.

Pay Attention in Class

The average attention span for a college student is ten minutes. And the average college class is around one to two hours long. It might sound like an impossible feat, but the more you pay attention in class the more you will be able to remember from those long boring lectures you suffered through.

Of course the perk from all of that anguish is the more you can remember from those lectures and the less you have to study. This means more personal time to spend however you want. Let’s face it, who wouldn’t want more personal time to themselves and reap the benefit of having great grades? The better your grade point average, the better job you’ll land once you’ve graduated.

Discover New Tools

Just because you may be attending the same university that your parents once did doesn’t mean that you’re stuck with the same limitations that they once were. Technology offers a vast array of resources like eTextbooks and other study aids that can be accessed anywhere there is internet access. No more countless hours standing in line for a cheap used book or searching every floor of the library.

Don’t Procrastinate

At some point you will procrastinate. It doesn’t matter how much you love your instructor or your class (or both). There will come an assignment that you won’t want to do. Just thinking about moving to physically start it will seem painful. You’ll cringe and find a million other projects to do that you wouldn’t otherwise be worried about finishing. Examples might be non-school related projects or other class assignments. Your main excuse for this is that you had some time to get the project completed.

Sometimes even people who work better under pressure find out the hard way that waiting last minute is a good way to discover there was a lot more work involved with that project they were assigned weeks ago. This is true in the “real world” as well. In order to be successful you have to stay on top of your projects. Employers will expect this from you as a good employee.

College is worth the work if you want to be successful but you just have to put forth the effort and stay on top of things. You’ll breeze through it effortlessly (and have time to yourself) as long as you remember to stay organized, pay attention in class, and don’t procrastinate.

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