All throughout high school I would have considered myself a certified slacker. Procrastination is one of my biggest weaknesses and is something I have struggled with my whole schooling career, including now. The idea of doing school work days before it was due didn’t appeal to me much especially if there was something better I could be doing with my time. The ticking hours before a deadline was my motivation to power through an assignment or study for a test. In spite of this, I wasn’t always handing in quality work, rushing to finish in time. I knew I could do better if I tried, but my laziness pulled me into doing the bare minimum. Due to my good memory and test taking skills I was able to slide by in high school despite missing home works and handing in assignments late. I often think that if I had put the effort into my high school classes that I put into my work now, I would be going to Harvard. One of the biggest challenges a student experiences when transitioning into college is the work load.
“A 0.5 was the number
I read to my parents when
they asked about my GPA.”
When I arrived here, I didn’t realize how important it was to do all assignments, to go to all classes, and to study for all tests in advance. I would miss an assignment and brush it off, thinking it wouldn’t impact my grade THAT much. There was one time I missed a test because I didn’t feel like leaving bed. It’s just one test right? My attitude towards college school work reflected that of high school. I didn’t even realize I was so far behind in school until I returned home at the end of the semester and received my grades. A 0.5 was the number I read to my parents when they asked about my GPA. I felt like a complete failure letting my parents down. I had to beg for a second chance for weeks as my parents weren’t going to let me go back the following semester. By the time I finally convinced them to let me return my mind was set that I had to take my education seriously. It took a little time to figure out the best ways to perform in school but with a little hard work my grades slowly improved. The best advice I can give any new students is to not fall behind. It’s been really tough digging myself out of the hole I was in and all because of a mistake I made one semester. Although this experience was a setback it’s taught me a lot about myself and what I am capable of doing if I put my mind to something.
Here are some tips on how to stay on top of your work I’ve learned through my personal struggle with school.
- Go to class. I can’t stress how important this is. Even if there’s no attendance and even if you really don’t want to go, push yourself to. When you go to class and pay attention to what is being taught it makes easier to study because you actually learned what you’re about to take a test on. Also going to class gives you the opportunity to meet other students in the class and it’s always beneficial to have a friend in a class. You can study the material together and help each other learn the subject if one of you are confused.
- Don’t cram. Putting off studying till the last minute is setting yourself up for failure. When you are rushed you don’t take the time to fully understand all of the material as you are more focused getting through it all. Study throughout the week a little bit at a time and save yourself from sitting in the library for hours the night before a test. This is the same for papers and other assignments. You’re more likely to get a good grade on a paper if it’s done correctly and well developed.
- Go to office hours. If you are confused with something that you are learning stop by office hours and talk to your professors. They are there to help you and they really want. With how big UAlbany is it’s easier understand something one on one instead of in a lecture hall filled with hundreds of people.
- Utilize the library. I know the library isn’t the most appealing place but even if you go for a short amount of time you’re more likely to get all your work done there than anywhere else. It’s also reassuring to know that the people around you are also working hard.
- Practice your study habits. Every person learns things in their own way. Sometime you don’t know which way works best for you unless you try different things. There many different studying methods from everything from a quizlet to flashcards, or even making up songs in your head.
College is only 4 years and it’s hard to lose sight of school with everything going on around you. It’s important to enjoy this time of your life because it will only happen once but it’s also important to work hard for your future.
Melissa F. Class of 2018 Majors: Spanish & Communication Blog Theme: Fierce & Freaked
Please Note: The views of our student bloggers do not necessarily reflect the views of the UAlbany Advisement Services Center. These are their stories and their voices.