Tips For a Successful School Year

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The semester has started and incoming freshman and returning Aggies alike are excited for a new school year. Some freshmen are nervous about what to expect from the school year, while others are already making preparations for homecoming. “Students need to realize the importance of starting the semester on the right track to eliminate unnecessary stress and academic problems as the semester progresses,” said Emily Harris, a lecturer in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication and the A&T Register’s adviser. Follow these easy tips and you’ll find yourself on top of your studies in no time.

1. Prepare yourself

Take the syllabus your professor gives you and keep it close. It is your guide for the rest of the semester. Use the syllabi your professors give you to keep note of important dates throughout the semester. Be aware of deadlines and read scheduled materials before the start of your lecture. Being prepared will help in memorizing the material and make the semester run smoothly.

2. Have goals

Where would you like to be at the end of the semester? For freshmen, the first semester is the most critical semester for grades and GPA. A failing or low grade will follow you for the rest of your college days. It is hard to pull up a low GPA. Most professors will recommend that you drop a class entirely rather than finish with an F. Whether you decide to finish the semester out with a 4.0 GPA or work towards raising your GPA, setting a goal for yourself will help keep you on the right track.

3. Make a schedule 

If not a schedule, have a certain day or time to study and work. If you want to enjoy your weekend, plan to finish assignments beforehand. If you find it impossible to sit and read for hours at a time, make time to study in shorter increments during the day. I find that studying or working

for 30 minutes with a 5 minute breaks in between time helps me focus more than just sitting down and studying. Rereading notes right after class always helps me recall information later during a test. Reading notes over time will help you remember what you’ve learn and will reduce stress during an exam. Trust me, cramming on the night before an exam or quiz rarely works.

4. Ask questions and get help

If the semester carries on and you are still not sure about the material in class, please ask questions and get help. Professors put their contact information on their syllabus for a reason. If you have a problem or need any help you should utilize the resources on campus or let your professor know you’re having issues so they may also give you tips that will help you study. Get to know some of your classmates and contact them outside of class. Having a study group will be helpful and you might also make a few friends Check out the tutoring offered in NACB and the writing and math centers.

5. Have a positive attitude

If something goes wrong please take a step back and realize it is not the end of the world. As a freshman, you will have many obstacles throughout your college experience and beyond. There are many other people that feel the exact same way that you do. Think of every experience you have as a short moment in time. Soon, these moments will pass away and you will be left to deal with whatever consequences may occur whether they are positive or negative. Just make the best of the moment and think of everything as a learning experience. Don’t worry. Everything will be fine.

– Email Krystal @ [email protected]