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Whether you’re new to the college or returning to continue your studies, it always helps to take a look at what successful students do to make the grade. We’ve asked the experts in Daytona State’s School of Student Life Skills to provide a few tips on how you can make the most of your time in college. Here’s what they had to say:
First Week of Classes
- Go to class – be on time. Allow time for on-campus parking.
- Get to know your professor – name, office location, office hours and preferred method of communication.
- Go to class prepared (textbook, notebook, pens, etc.).
- Find out about campus resources (Academic Support Center, Student Life, Clubs and Organizations, Writing Center, Library, Counseling, etc.) that will benefit you throughout the semester.
- Get a planner (calendar, phone) that you will use. The back of the Student Handbook includes a very handy, dandy day planner.
- Read your syllabus and understand deadlines. A syllabus is not junk mail – it is a contract.
- Check your FalconMail and other college online services regularly.
- Try to sit toward front and center of class.
- Get the phone number or email address of at least one student in your class who can share notes in case you are absent.
- Get into your “I’m ready to learn” attitude.
- Get the correct materials for each of your classes.
- Learn how to manage your time (Balance academic, work, family and social life.).
- Make use of time-management strategies. It’s easy to fall behind, but hard to catch up. By setting priorities and creating a semester schedule with major deadlines (i.e. exams, papers, projects) you can plot an “attack strategy” to get things done.
- Establish a regular time to study and a regular place to study. Have an area in your home where your books “live.” Make it your space.
- Partner with other students. Study with a (serious) group.
- Take notes in class. It will keep you focused – even if you think the class is boring. Highlight key points of emphasis from the instructor.
- Read and prepare before going to class, participate in class discussions, turn in assignments on time and review within 24 hours after class.
- When studying, review is your strongest tool. If you read your assignments and take notes, but never revisit them (and not just a once over before a test), you haven’t built a strong foundation to remember it later.
- Utilize the Writing Center, Academic Support Center, Library and tutoring services. They are there to help you!
- Learn how to study! Cramming is not a study technique.
- Take care of yourself physically, emotionally, spiritually.
- Eat breakfast and bring healthy “portable” foods with you. Items such as fresh fruit, trail mix, etc. You’ll get more mileage out of an apple than a bag of potato chips.
- Sleep an appropriate amount of hours so you are refreshed and ready for class the next day.
- Establish a rapport with your professors and let them know if you’re having problems that might hurt your academic success.
- Learn collegiate classroom etiquette.
- If you have to miss class, let the professor know ahead of time.
- Take a study skills, computer or career class to enhance your current skills.
- Take responsibility for your own education. Professors can encourage and support the learning process, but they cannot make you learn. Remember, professors don’t give good or bad grades; students earn them.
What not to do!
- Show up late to class and disrupt the learning process.
- Sleep in class.
- Make up excuses.
- Be absent, and when you return to class, ask, “Did I miss anything important?”
- Texting or doing other technology-related things in class, such as checking your Facebook account, Tweeting . . . or worse.
- Talking to the students around you and distracting the rest of the class.
- Being disrespectful to the professor and/or other students.
So there you have it. We hope you have a wonderful and productive semester. And always remember, if you need help, just ask. The staff and faculty at Daytona State College are dedicated to your success!