The transition from high school to college is quite a steep slope. Gone are the days when you had ample time to study for your final exams and managing to have a good social life along with good grades wasn’t difficult. College courses are fast paced. You don’t have the luxury to sit back and relax for a week, hoping to cover up later as before you know, you may already be way behind the eight ball. So what to do?
From day one, you must commit to staying in touch with the course proceedings afoot. Try not to deliberately miss classes, since one missed class can reduce the effectiveness of the coming classes if the same topic is being continued. If you miss a class due to some unforeseen circumstances, then make sure that you take the class notes from your friend and if possible get him or her to explain them to you. Presence in class is not only physical presence. If you feel you are not able to concentrate in class, you may leave and take class notes from your friend later. It’s actually better to be sure you weren’t there than to be disillusioned that you were present in the classroom so you know something about the lecture, when you actually don’t.
Assess how you are going to spend your time or effort on the various grading instruments. You should know that starting your assignment paper the day before would not only cause panic, but also affect your chances at a good grade. Starting it too early might not be a good idea either, since your mind tends to get lazy and complacent when the deadline is too far away. When studying for your quiz, remember that the quiz is only going to test your basic understanding of the subsequent lectures and course reading. Stop studying after you feel that you have understood all the key concepts. Leave the thorough reading and intense cramming or practice sessions for the midterm and final exam. Exams test you on how well you can apply your understanding of the course.
Remember that you can’t do it all alone. It is important to remain in contact with the instructor, teaching assistants and your classmates. Talking about your course prevents you from missing anything important, and helps further enhance your skills and concepts.
In between all these technicalities, the most important part is staying calm, forgetting about any failure from the past and hoping for the best for the future.