While the first week can be overwhelming, it is usually the easiest! All your instructors ask of you is to show up, buy your textbooks and supplies, and get started. It is a few weeks later when your world might feel shaky.
The fifth week of classes is usually when your first paper might be due, your first large tests take place, or when major projects might be assigned or due. All this… AT THE SAME TIME. We teachers see major panic starting to occur as “the rubber hits the road”. Students who were successful before they came to college are cool, calm, and collected. Those who struggled in the past, or are not used to being completely responsible for their own success, are freaking out! So what can you do to keep from freaking out under the weight of tests, projects, and papers, plus possible jobs and family responsibilities?
4 Tips for Success All Semester Long!
- DO YOUR HOMEWORK. That’s right. Sometimes simply doing the work assigned can help you be more successful! Think about something: we instructors love our subject matter and want to share our knowledge, but first, you need some background information. If you read the chapters you are assigned, the class will be more interesting because you will not simply be reviewing the book material, but you will be going deeper into the subject matter with an instructor who has extensive knowledge and experience in his or her field!
- SHOW UP. Not only in class, but also in your instructors’ offices. I know. It seems crazy, but coming to class can go a long way to being successful. When you skip class, you miss important information and activities. When you come to class, but you still don’t understand the material, show up in our offices. We are here to help. We want to help. We are cheering for you. Let us help you. Come in and talk. See us when you are confused about an assignment, a lecture, a reading, or a class discussion.
- PARTICIPATE. Be a part of the class discussion. Actually, those who participate wholly in the class activities or discussions usually fare better on their assignments and tests. Why? Because they are interacting with the material, and they begin to feel more comfortable working with that material. They are sharing ideas with each other and with their instructors. These students are more likely to ask questions when they are confused, and to having conversations with the material. That is right. Students who participate are figuring out how they connect to the class material to predict where it is leading them, and to translate the material to their other classes. That is a WIN, WIN for everyone!!
- KNOW YOUR RESOURCES. I know, I know. I just said to show up in our offices, but where else can you show up? Easy peasy lemon squeezy! There are many services at Ridgewater dedicated to helping students who “show up.”