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7 ways to be productive in your freshman year

Here are the seven ways to stay on track during your first year in college.

Congratulations, you’re officially a college student! This experience can be exciting and intimidating at the same time. You want not only to survive but to be successful in your freshman year, don’t you? 

1. Set up a schedule and stick to it

The main reason that students have unproductive days is that they don’t plan their time. Scheduling doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be pedantic about time management. You should have a general idea of what tasks you need to do and when you need to accomplish them.

Create to-do-lists either on paper or on your phone. The latter option is even better. Download a free schedule app, and set up reminders in order to remember about every task. Staying organized will increase your productivity for the freshman year.

2. Don’t skip classes

The temptation to watch a new video of your favorite blogger while staying in bed and eating Cinnamon Toast Crunch instead of heading off to class may be great. Trust me, you’ll regret it!

Each class you miss is a waste of your tuition money. It can weaken the level of your preparation for homework and exams. If you are not an early bird, then don’t schedule your classes before 9:00 or 10:00 a.m.!

3. Study, Study, Study!

Tell me what is the goal of your staying in college? Isn’t it studying? No matter how you feel, you have to be prepared for your classes. If you review your notes every day and make sure that you understand the material, you’ll feel less overwhelmed for midterms and finals.

To be a smart learner, use the following simple tips:

Organize your study environment. You won’t waste valuable time interrupting your study session by searching your room for necessary notes or flash cards.

Eliminate distractions (phone calls, social nets, TV shows, etc.).

Start your homework session with the most challenging and time-consuming tasks. Once you complete that essay for a history class, it will be easy to complete the brief reading assignment.

Break complex tasks into smaller, manageable sub-tasks. Use a calendar to organize long-term projects in order to avoid procrastination.

4. Talk To Your Professors and/or your TA’s

Feel free to ask your instructors for help. Their goal isn’t to flunk you at exams. They’re there to assist students.

So, if you feel that you’re hopelessly struggling with your research paper, ask for help. Most professors will be glad to discuss your writing plans and problems. Mind that you should go to office hours prepared with specific ideas or questions. Faculty doesn’t like to play “what do you want me to write?” games.

Many freshman classes are split into sections, and each of them is assigned a TA. Talk to your TA’s. They’re also helpful. They have taken this class before so they can explain you the professor’s requirements.

5. Create a study group

Doing your homework by yourself is not only boring, it can also be hard. Some subjects or topics might be difficult for you to understand. Having people who can explain the material for free is by all means great.

Find a group of students you would like to study with. You will help each other to fill in the gaps in understanding and completing homework assignments. A study group can boost your interest in the material and improve memorizing. Plus, it’s a nice way to make friends!

6. Improve your writing skills

Academic papers are a commonly assigned homework. If you want to get better course outcomes, you need to craft quality, original essays.

The ability to express thoughts and ideas clearly and articulately can set you apart from the pack. Get to know how to construct strong arguments, learn to structure different types of papers, and improve your knowledge of grammar and punctuation. You can take writing courses offered at your college.

Becoming a better writer will be useful not only during your college years. No matter which career path you choose, good writing skills will be your huge a asset.

7. Reward yourself for staying on task

Freshman year can be stressful. Hectic schedule, lots of assignments and tough deadlines exhaust even the most energetic students. A routine filled with studies and devoid of any enjoyable activities can have a negative impact on your health.

What can you do to stay in tip-top mental and physical shape for studying? Reward yourself. Spend one day a week away from any learning practices. Have a good rest and indulge yourself with whatever you like. Did you miss a few dorm parties because of late-night study? Go to a night out with friends. Haven’t been watching TV for a whole week? Enjoy a Netflix marathon. You’ve got my point.

Forewarned is forearmed. As you start your new life chapter, remember that there are many who have gone the way before you. Seek out senior students. They will tell you about the peculiarities of different courses and professors’ expectations. It will make a difference in your freshmen year.

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