• Mandi Frost

10 college tips

Updated: Apr 2

My son started college this week and I thought it was an appropriate time to write this post! This is for you Luke and I hope you get to read it (he actually built my website and he continues to add pages and fix my tech issues so I`m sure he WILL get to read this).

It`s important for college students to get organized within their first week of college. I have put together my top 10 tips which will help students plan with intention as they enjoy a more meaningful productive college experience. Parents can help their teenagers with these tips to prepare them for college.

1. Develop an ALL INCLUSIVE Time Schedule

You need to know HOW to manage your time. ALL your time. Schedule on a planner all class times, study sessions, extra activities, social, exercise, down time and even sleep. This helps with balancing tasks and gives a better idea of how you can utilize your time and be aware of where you are wasting time or being distracted. Realizing how much time you are actually wasting, you will become more aware of how to be more productive. Essentially, you will have more free time without guilt. You can still be flexible within your schedule and you can easily reschedule something in as it comes up.

It`s also a good idea for you to schedule your classes that concentrate on a few days, making it possible to devote entire days to either lecture or to study/work. This eliminates wasted time between classes and then having to keep shifting into new activities. If you have a lot of free time between classes, a schedule is a great way to schedule in these times to work/study. Your productivity will soar!

2. Delete Distractions

This is a big one! Think about what things distract you (phone, friends, internet surfing). Write down a list of all your distractions and decide what you are going to do about it. I`m guessing that one of your biggest distractions is your phone?! Delete some apps or phone notifications not needed. Think about how you can avoid these distractions.

Have a SMART action to keep you focused and aware of what`s getting in the way of your studies. A SMART action is specific, measurable, achievable, rewarding (why do you want this) and time bound.

Here is an example of a SMART action with a student who gets distracted with his/her phone: I will place my phone on silent during classes and when I study I will put it away so I can`t see it. I will reward myself with my phone once my study session on my schedule is complete. I will set a reminder on my phone as a notification every day so I will follow through with this action.

3. Ability to Study

Know how you study and learn best.

Examples: time of day, note taking, study groups, flashcards, learning styles, mind maps, quizzes. Keep ahead! Always be at least 2 weeks AHEAD. This helps when pressure spikes in other classes and you need to be on top of things. You do not want to fall behind and then constantly try and play "catch up." It`s no fun and not worth all the stress.

If you take notes in class, disable WiFi to avoid distractions. Multi tasking is not an option. It DOES NOT work! When your brain makes switches between activities, it affects your concentration, learning and retention. Study in a place where you can avoid the most distractions. Do not study on your bed (you will fall asleep).

4. Engage in Classes

Sit in the front of the class. Don`t skip classes. Be prepared and read through notes before the class. Take notes during class and engage in your learning. Rewrite your notes after class and make sure you understand the work. If not, meet with the professor or someone who can help you. DO NOT WAIT! Ask for help when you do not understand otherwise you will fall behind and this will cause unnecessary stress and greater anxiety. Write down questions and see the professor after class.