The College survival series: 1. how to keep up with your workload

March 04, 2016

As a college student, you'll be very much aware of the need for great time-management skills and to have productivity tips under your belt.

And, you guessed it, I'm about to share them with you!

  • Always write your assignments down on your planner/bullet journal so you don't forget them.

    Forgetting to do your assignments, even if it's just a small reading homework, is a very bad habit. If the professor notices it, you're going to look like the type of student who's not interested. And then, as if that's not bad enough, it often leads to accumulation of work, which is sure to give you a headache.

    A very important rule in college is to stay on top of your material and your assignments because if you leave them behind, it might get to the point where it's too late to catch up with them.
  • Make a list of deadlines

    List the presentations or essays you have to hand in and the corresponding deadlines on a piece of paper and stick it on your wall on your workspace, so you are reminded of them every day. That way, you'll always remember that you need to start working on them and you will never forget that a certain assignment is closer than you had thought.
  • Don't leave everything to the last minute.

    This is a no-brainer. A lot of people tend to leave everything to the end of the semester (I myself have done that in a few subjects and regretted it forever).

    In college, this is about the worst thing you can do because there usually is no way you can catch up with everything and still do great in exams at the end of the semester.
    You'll end up cramming and trying to memorize everything and it'll show that you're not at ease with the subject when you have to answer questions or apply the material to practical exercises.
  • Try to accompany the classes by studying beforehand.

    You can go to class and listen to the professor and most times, you can accompany it just fine.

    However, if you read your material before the class, your understanding will be much deeper and you'll be able to catch on to certain subtleties in the lecture that you wouldn't if you hadn't ever heard about it before. It will also allow you to consolidate your knowledge and clear any doubts that you might have had while reading.
  •  Make your own summaries of the textbook - but make them useful.

    If you use summaries of your books, try to write them yourself. Avoid using other people's summaries, as you don't know if they're correct and you won't be familiar with them because you didn't write them (which is the whole point of doing this).
    Also, try to write your summaries as you study the different topics during the semester, instead of leaving the reading and summarizing to the last minute.
    Note: There will be more on how to summarize textbooks, later.
  • Pay attention in class and write good notes

    This is often the difference between a passing grade and a good one. 

    A lot of professors base the exams mostly on the textbooks. However, there are still a few of them that consider mainly what they taught during lessons or who expect that you have added knowledge to that of the textbook. So, it's a good idea to pay attention in class and to write good notes, because it'll help you understand the subject better when you go read more about it and you can also complement that information on the textbook summaries. 

    Besides, even if the professor bases his/her classes on the textbook, taking good notes might be a start to your summaries, as well!
  • Use the syllabus.

    The syllabus exists so that you know exactly what is going to be taught in a certain class.
    Making a condensed version of the syllabus in just one page might be a good idea - it can work as a list that you can cross out while you're studying for the exam and it can also allow you to have a better vision of the topics and how they relate to each other.

    Don't forget to mark the syllabus with the textbook pages referring to the topics on it, for easier referral when studying that topic.

I hope you find these tips helpful. Do you have any other college survival tips?

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