How to Be a Better Student: 4 Essential Tips

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In any given year, around 19.4 million Americans attend college. Some attend community colleges, while others attend 4-year universities. Since the pandemic, many students now attend an online school or a hybrid option.

While many students enjoy their college experience, there is always the looming threat of your GPA in the background. If it falls too low, you may not land the job graduate program you want or the job you want post-graduation.

Yet, even dedicated students often struggle to keep their grades up. That leaves them with the question of how to be a better student.

If that sounds like the boat you're in, keep reading. We'll offer four college tips that will help you become a better student.

1. Develop Good Study Habits

Studying, much like learning, is a skill that you can develop and hone. While plenty of college students extol the virtues of cramming, it's actually a terrible and ineffective approach to studying.

Instead, plan out time to study. That doesn't mean a 3-hour block of mini-cramming every Sunday night. It means setting aside an hour or two a few times a week to review course material.

Periodic and incremental reviews of information do a much better job of reinforcing the information in your head.

Figure out what kind of environment you need for studying. For some students, nothing will work except absolute silence.

If that's you, noise-canceling headphones and the library are your best friends. If that's not you, try studying at a coffee shop or with music on in the background. Once you know what's efficient and effective for you, stick with it.

If your roommate doesn't share your study habit preferences, try to work out a compromise. Nothing hinders studying like arguing with your roommate.

2. Embrace Self-Care

College creates stress in more than one way. Students must become more self-disciplined about their schoolwork as instructors won't follow up.

They may also face pressure from their parents to succeed. People who were great students in high school sometimes find that they no longer excel in the same way.

All of those changes and pressures, along with many more, create stress. Plus, it's mostly on you to watch out for yourself.

Look for ways that you can eat healthy, at least some of the time. Even if it just means eating some fruit or making yourself a salad a couple times a week.

Block out time for some kind of exercise. Sitting in front of your computer all the time can leave you lethargic.

Take up yoga. Go out and take a walk. Join a local gym.

Get enough sleep. When your brain is tired, it's hard to learn.

3. Hone Your Time Management Skills

While you won't actually spend that much time in class, that's a deceptive thing. You should expect that you'll need around three hours of outside time for every one hour spent in class. In that outside time, you must accomplish a lot, such as:

  • Assigned reading
  • Homework assignments
  • Quiz preparation 
  • Exam Preparation 
  • Research
  • Paper writing

You must plan your time efficiently to accomplish all of that work and leave time for some kind of life. If you find that your time management skills don't get the job done, it's also on you to find a solution.

The good news is that you can find countless articles, books, and even online courses devoted to the subject of time management. If you want to improve in this area, the resources exist.

4. Set Goals

As you enter or continue your college career, you should make a point to set some short-term and long-term goals. Short-term goals might include things like:

  • Do not procrastinate
  • Read a chapter ahead
  • Get a 4.0 for the semester

Long-term goals can prove to be tricky, particularly if you don't know what you want as a career. Even so, you can set some long-term goals.

For example, there's often a gap between graduation and finding a job. You can set a goal of saving enough money to carry you for six months after graduation.

If you do know what you want as a career, you can set goals like figuring out what kind of internships you want and how to make them happen.

How to Be a Better Student? Prepare and Plan

The problem of how to be a better student is mostly a problem of preparation and planning. You need certain kinds of skills going into college, like time management, study habits, and self-care. Look for advice or ways you can develop those in advance.

Work on your self-discipline, as that's what will carry you through everything. Also, plan on leaving a little time to have a life.

California Coast University specializes in career-focused majors. For more information, contact California Coast University today.

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