Saturday, August 21, 2010

10 Easy Tips for Surviving ASU and Getting Good Grades in College

  1. Buy Your Books Early: For most people, I imagine that by the time that you are reading this, it's probably already too late, but it's never too late to plan for the next semester. I got my books early over the Summer and I am already quite some ways ahead of the class. This will give me some free time to just relax and not have to worry about falling behind. This, of course, can be problematic if you aren't sure if you're class is going to keep/use the text or if you anticipate that you might want to change classes later.
  2. Pace Your Reading: Assuming you're anything like me, despite having, perhaps, buying your books early, you haven't actually completed the reading. Perhaps, also like me, some of your classes told you your books later rather than earlier. Either way, it's good to pace your reading. In particular, try and spend some time after all your classes are done every day to do a bit of studying before you head home. This might be something you might want to also plan for in your schedule.
  3. Take Notes in Class: This is really obvious, but the honest truth is that people simply don't do it, especially if they don't like the class. However, you wouldn't believe how much it helps! The act of taking notes helps to utilize more and varied parts of your brain and to help retain information later.
  4. Type Your Notes and Share Them: It also helps to take your written notes and type them up. This will give you an extra opportunity to review them while, once again, utilizing more of your brain, and it will give you the opportunity to share them with classmates in hope they will reciprocate in case you need it.
  5. Add Classmates / Get Contacts: Being able to get a hold of classmates can really help. It will make it easier to go to class because you know more people there and you will always have someone to rely on if you miss something or need help understanding something.
  6. E-Mail Your Teachers: Whether you need help or whether you're just getting to know them better, emailing your teacher can be really helpful. If you don't talk to your teacher, you're not going to get any sympathy if you have trouble completing an assignment.
  7. Stay Hydrated: Ugh! Being dehydrated at ASU just makes you tired and lazy. If you want to stay productive and on top of things, it's essential to drink water basically every chance you get.
  8. Gather Research Before You Write Your Thesis: Many people start with a thesis and try to find supporting evidence for it; instead, you should take the subject of your paper, turn it into a question, and find information about it. Then, write your thesis. It makes so much more sense and actually ends up being a lot easier.
  9. Know Your Campus: Free food! Nothing is better than free food. But there is also great entertainment and other exciting things going on all the time; and if you ever want to make the best of your college experience, you got to do some exploring.
  10. Relax: Take a break every now and then. You want to find a definite stopping point in your studying, but once you get to those stopping points, you really need to find something you like to do or just relax.

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