Nothing is going to stop us!
Probably the biggest challenge for college students is dealing with their own internal sense of invincibility. College students can be young, energetic, and able to accomplish a great many things. However, they can also be their own worst enemy because they put themselves into situations where there is little or no chance of success. Of all the talents that humans possess, one of the most obvious can be procrastination. As the old joke says, “Procrastinators of the world unite…tomorrow!” When people go to college, they may be taking the first step towards adulthood or they may be one misstep closer to a pattern of personal failure. Here are a few thoughts on how to have fun and party but still get good grades.
Self-awareness is one of the most powerful tools in a person’s arsenal. It is crucial that the college student be aware of their strengths, weaknesses, and situations where they may be tempted. Granted, the college years are often a confusing time for some people because they are changing fast and they are starting to truly discover who they are as people. However, a healthy dose of personal introspective can do wonders for succeeding in college. Students must know that there will be external barriers and challenges, but that they themselves may be the first and most prominent obstacle to success.
Do not be deceived
A first look at the college schedule may cause the student to assume that they now have a lot of free time. Instead of going to class for the entire day, five days a week, they now find that they have large gaps in their personal schedule. Unfortunately, new students in particular do not realize the pace of college as compared to high school. Those gaps are meant for studying, research, and project preparation. Therefore, getting good grades in about utilizing time effectively, planning out large assignments well in advance, and not trusting that simple intuition will be enough to pass the tests.
First things first
This may be an obvious statement but sometimes the simple things are the hardest to do. Students have to do their homework first before pursuing leisure. Work first, play later. Again, this is easier said than done for some students because there are so many wonderful diversions in college. In addition, the student may have done “just fine” in high school by studying late at night and cramming for the exam the next day. Unfortunately, this is where some students fail in college because they do not realize the rigor of higher education. The student that thinks that they do their “best work” after midnight is unfortunately a bit delusional because the human brain simply doesn’t work that way. If students decide to go to a party and then plan on studying after the event, they may find themselves severely impaired by various beverages and fatigue by the time they hit the books.
Friends that are friends
Finally, there are the people around the college student that can often make the difference. This is related to knowing oneself because it speaks to the fact that some peers are a bad influence. There are friends at college who are fun and adventurous, but they may blatantly or subtly influence the student to not study. If the typical college student is going to succeed in higher education, they must be willing to keep certain individuals or peer groups at a distance until their obligations are completed.
Starting out right
Overall, getting good grades often comes down to personal discipline and getting a good start. When students have to play “catch up”, they can often find themselves in too deep of a hole to get out. The student is no longer in high school and they cannot rely on their basic intuition to get through the test. In addition, it is difficult to study when one has a hangover or gets less than four hours of sleep. Success is sometimes as simple as finding a quiet spot in the library and setting aside distraction until the work is done. Then, the student can go out for a bit and play.