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Hey lovelies! If you’re like me, you’re starting school back up again on Monday (already??) and you’re a little nervous about your classes this semester. I mean, who isn’t a little nervous at the beginning of the semester? Succeeding at college can be tricky but, trust me, hard work pays off! I’ve been on the Dean’s List (3.5 GPA or higher) every semester since I started college and I thought it would be cool to share what I do every semester to get a high GPA. Plus, writing about this is a nice way for me to get back into the school mindset after these three (lovely) weeks of winter break!
These are all study/class tips; definitely don’t forget how important it is to get outside, socialize, and exercise too. I will be the first to admit that I’ve forgotten those important things, including taking time for myself, its easy to forget during the hectic semester! Anyway, here are my tips for rocking college:
- Keep track of datesYes people, you may have heard this a lot, but I swear… use a planner!!! It will keep your whole life organized: to exams & homework, to girls nights, family outings, dates, me time (very important!), etc.At the beginning of each semester, for each class, I always go through the syllabus and write down all of the important dates. I’ve tried out many planners in my days and luckily, I have 3 recommendations for you!The Lily Pulitzer agenda will be my first suggestion, it’s also the one I’m using right now! It’s so amazing honestly: its adorable, the perfect size, and comes with stickers to help you stay organized!Another one is the Shinola 18- Month Runwell Planner. Shinola Detroit is a fantastic, reliable company who makes seriously gorgeous watches and leather products. They also dabble in stationary including a planner that I used my freshman year of college and loved so much that I bought a monogrammed one for my boyfriend for his first year of his Masters program. Its that good, seriously, just take my word for it.Lastly is May Designs’ planners. I was honestly speechless when I found this brand, because its so user friendly. You can customize almost everything!! The inside pages’ layout, size, color, monogram/quote, cover (they have so many patterns to choose from!), etc. It’s the coolest thing ever if you like to personalize things!
- Take extensive notesNow this is something you can do for pretty much free. All you need is a writing utensil and a piece of paper.Write down everything. Well, at least close to everything. Even if you’re the only one in the class taking notes (hello, me!), do it! I’ve been the only person taking notes in a couple of my classes and people are always so impressed — but I’m just impressed with my grade!Make up little shortcuts for yourself if you need to. Some professors go through lectures at lightening speeds, so you need to be prepared! Instead of writing out the whole word, shorthand it!
- Pay attention to what your professor saysSeriously though, this may seem like the most obvious tip ever but it’s important. If you don’t actively pay attention or if you skip a lecture you might miss some important information for the exam. This has happened to me a few times, where I’ll be in class, my prof gives us a good tip for studying or for the exam or whatnot and I think to myself how happy I am for not missing out on that! Participate, ask questions, and be present in class!
- Start studying a week before an examI figured out what I need to do to do well on an exam, and it may be different for you, so be willing to alter this suggestion to fit your needs! For me, I’ve found that starting to study a week before an exam is sufficient (this may change if a class is exceptionally hard, of course), but I just can’t start two weeks before the test/quiz/exam. It’s just not going to happen: I won’t know where to start, I’ll forget things, and it’s not reasonable for me. If I study too close to an exam, then well, you probably know how it is, its cramped, stressful, and definitely not the most optimal situation to be in! So, a week before is the sweet spot for me.
- Form study groupsIf you can, at the beginning of the semester (or whenever, really), join/form a study group! Exchange emails, or better yet, exchange phone numbers and create a group chat. I’ve done this many times and its such a blessing, honestly. This way its easy to meet up to study in person and you can text each other with questions whenever. I’ve found this to a be a big help in many of my classes, no matter the subject.Along with this, in groups its so easy to test each other! Make flashcards, a Quizlet set, make questions from your notes, whatever you like best, and test each other (or yourself). Flashcards are an easy way to productively study by yourself and with a group and is probably one of the most effective way to study.
- Eat breakfastWith all of this studying comes stress and less sleep, which totally sucks! I know many people who don’t like to eat breakfast, but if you’re not opposed to it, I think it is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Super charge your morning with a nutritious breakfast — don’t just have cereal! Have coffee or tea with some protein, like eggs, and have some fruit and carbs too! These will fill you up and keep you full and energized throughout the morning. And I know you’ve heard that before but trust me, it works. I used to not eat breakfast, and then last Spring semester I decided to try to make some extra time in my morning to have breakfast and it’s been the best decision ever — I don’t snack as often, I feel awake, and I’ve stopped feeling sluggish in the mornings!
Now I’m definitely not perfect. I’m not a 4.0 student, I don’t go to every single class, nor every single study group, but these tips have seriously helped me do well in college, and I hope they do the same for you! If you have any other tips, comments, questions, message me or leave a comment below!
With Love (and good luck with all your studies),