How to Make the Grade – 5 Ways to Make The College Experience Great!
For many teenagers, the college years are the first true years of independence. It can sometimes be hard to stay dedicated to pursuing the education you are at college to get when surrounded by new and fun distractions. There are some tips that can help you stay focused and make the grade.
Sleep is absolutely essential to your ability to learn, however college students are one of the most sleep deprived groups. In a 2001 study by Brown University only 11% of college students reported having good sleep habits. Irregularity in sleep patterns causes an accumulation of sleep debt. This affects you physically by weakening your immune system as well as mentally draining you, causing irritability, depression, and difficulty focusing. Between the rigors of school and the excitement of a new social setting, proper sleep may be difficult. Try to avoid long naps during the day and aim to go to bed and wake at approximately the same time most days.
Exercise is extremely important for both body and mind. Exercise enlarges the basal ganglia portion of the brain, which is the area that helps you focus. Practicing 30 minutes of aerobic exercise per day has the potential to improve your problem solving skills by up to 10%.
Have the Right School Supplies
Think back to the elementary school supply lists. Even kindergarten teachers print out handy lists on brightly colored paper requesting crayons, scissors, glue sticks, and tissues. Some college professors may give you a supply list, but in general you are expected to take some responsibility for collecting the supplies necessary for success. Some are obvious, such as notebooks, pens, pencils, bookbag, laptop, and calculator. Some are less obvious, but still very important.
Consider your major and any special supplies that may be useful. A biology major may need to invest in a Dino Lite microscope and dissection kit. An architect major will need special drafting materials, and an education major will need to invest in some professional clothes for student teaching.
Feed Your Brain
Nutrition plays a key role in your body’s health and your ability to concentrate. College students are often guilty of indulging in foods full of carbohydrates, sugar, and empty calories. Try to fill your diet with foods that will help feed your brain such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts.
Find a Study Group
Accountability is an effective method to help get good grades. It may be easy to neglect studying if left to your own devices. It is much harder to ignore a task if you have plans to meet others with the same goal. Everyone learns differently and has varying skills and abilities. Sometimes a fresh perspective is helpful. A study group has a nice social aspect to it as well.
College can be tough, but armed with the right tools, you can balance social life, stay healthy, and make the grade.