Editorial - Quick tips for a successful semester
Published: Monday, August 20, 2012
Updated: Monday, August 20, 2012 02:08
A new beginning.
These are a few of the many cliche descriptions of college you have probably heard over and over again since you graduated from high school. These characterizations are largely true – college is, in fact, a challenge, as well as an opportunity to reinvent one’s self.
You will meet new people from all over the world. You will learn new things. Your beliefs will be challenged. The next four years will open doors for you that you did not previously know existed. Most importantly, you will be given the opportunity to excel academically and position yourself for a successful future.
While this is obviously the number one reason we all go to college, many students get caught up in the multitude of distractions afforded by college life and find themselves struggling to reach their goals semester after semester.
There are many good habits students can develop to ensure they don’t fall into this cycle of disappointment. Important among these are establishing regular sleep patterns, developing good organizational skills and building close relationships with your professors.
Develop a healthy sleep cycle
Numerous studies have been carried out on the sleep habits of college students. The conclusions of these studies have overwhelmingly supported the notion that students with bad sleeping habits exhibit significantly poorer academic performance than those who get enough sleep.
These conclusions are hardly surprising. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that being half-asleep in class is detrimental to learning. Despite the obvious nature of this advice, it is very common for students to ignore it, and their academic achievement suffers as a result. Don’t make that mistake.
Many of us got by in high school without developing great organizational skills. If you fall into this category, this is a problem you need to address as you start your college career.
Students commonly complain that they forgot about a big assignment or exam until the last minute and failed to earn their desired grade as a result. Situations like this can easily be avoided with adequate planning.
Build a good relationship with your professors
Class sizes at WVU vary significantly. In some of your courses, you may find yourself in an enormous lecture hall with hundreds of other students while in others, the class setting may be far smaller and more intimate.
In the college environment, it is up to the student to take the initiative and create a bond with the professor. Many professors don’t even care whether or not you show up to class, so it’s common for students to get through many of their courses with minimal one-on-one interaction with their teachers. This is something you should avoid.
The advantages of having a good relationship with your professor are numerous. Take the time to visit their office hours whenever you have a question. Professors are passionate about what they do, and they will be more than happy to help a student who is genuinely trying to learn.
Don’t be that student who doesn’t know where their professor’s office is until they want to complain about their deservedly low final grade at the end of the semester.