Guest Post / Pro Tips / October 28, 2014

Guest Post: James Satterla

Tips To Not Struggle

College is an interesting time of transition for most of us. Stepping from the shallow expectations of high school into the demanding environment of a post grade-school education is a large step for everyone. I know as a Freshman I struggled with my first semester, despite having never had difficulties in school. Now, finding some comfort in my sophomore year, here are a few tips that I’ve learned that might help you along the way.


This may seem self-explanatory, but this is imperative to being successful. It’s hard waking up for that 8am class, or staying all day to that 7pm class, but this is the most important aspect to a good grade. This doesn’t mean answering every question asked, but being present for the discussion and taking notes on the important points will make school measurably easier. Keep in mind the professor that sees the student present for every class will likely be a little more lenient in their grading. (And if you must miss a class, consult the syllabus to see what you’ll be missing, and e-mail the professor about your absence)

 Have a good work schedule

No one likes doing homework, but no one likes failing classes either. This is what I struggled most with; I found myself blowing off all my homework to the point where I was scribbling down homework as it was being handed in. My grades suffered to say the least. I now set aside specific times to do homework, and I don’t try to blitz it all at once. I will answer a few questions or write a few sentences, then break for a few minutes to troll social media or answer a text. Although it’s easy to get distracted, I’m get much less stressed by a large assignment, and I complete things before the due date. I also like to do the hardest assignments first; it is easier to work downhill rather than up.

Fun vs School

You’re going to party and have fun in college; you know it, your parents know it, your professors know it. It may be hard to have fun, but it’s even harder to balance partying and school to a successful equilibrium. As with many things in life, moderation here is key. You don’t want to black out at 5am in the morning when you have an exam in the morning, but you also don’t want to force yourself to stay awake studying. You have to find a balance that works for you between focusing and getting work done and having a good time. Keeping your stress in line and keeping up with schoolwork is a lot harder than it sounds, but it is very possible. Managing your time and keeping your priorities straight (whatever those may be) is the way I’ve found works best.


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