college courses

How to Master College Courses 101

college courses

Summer is officially over which means class is now in session. For college students, classes could cause a whole lot of stress. With papers, exams, morning classes, labs and everything else wedged in there, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. This is especially true for freshmen. Regardless of your major, things are going to be a lot harder than high school. Not only is there a heavier workload, but students have to constantly find new ways to manage time. After 3 years, 6 semesters and a study abroad trip, I’ve finally worked through the ins and outs and comprised a master plan for all college students alike on how to get through your courses and earn a good grade without increasing your risk for heart disease. Here’s how to master college courses:

Get to Class

First off, I’d like to show you, monetarily, how valuable college courses are. Let’s say you go to a private university. According to collegedata.com, the average tuition and fees, not including other expenses like room and board, is approximately $32,000. Yikes. Assuming you’re a full time student, that’s about 10 classes a year and most schools have about 15 weeks per semester. Therefore, each day ranges at about $72-$213 per class. That’s like two months worth of Chipotle per class missed. Beyond money, classes still go a very long way. By going to class (and paying attention there), you receive valuable information in the lecture that you can’t through your book or another student’s notes. Also, it’s also looks good on your part to show your face, especially when it’s grade time.

Participate

Let’s say you do make it to almost every class (nobody’s perfect). Most college professors appreciate participation. If you’re in a small-medium sized class, chances are it’s going to be somewhat necessary. Without overdoing it put in some input here and there. It will indefinitely look good to your professor who is in charge of your grade. The first few times you speak in class might be nerve wracking, it always is for me. But once you do it once or twice, it starts to become a lot easier.

Get to Know Your Professor

By going to class and participating, you’re automatically getting some appreciation from your professor. They live for that stuff. Past grades, because college isn’t only about doing well in class, your professors are invaluable. Talk to them after class occasionally and show up for office hours. Showing that you’re interested in the class can help you out in the long run. They could serve as mentors and help you out with finding the path you want to go on post-graduation. Most professors want you to succeed. Let them help you!

Keep Up With Your Work

One of student’s biggest culprits for stress is procrastination. It’s so easy to put things off until the last minute and end up in the library for 10 hours straight alternating between espresso shots and Red Bulls. THIS CAN AND SHOULD BE AVOIDED. Read over notes every night before bed. When you receive an assignment, immediately start plotting how you plan on putting it together. Doing even a little bit at a time could save you both stress and points in the long run. Most professors give you assignments in advance so there is no excuse. In short: pace yourself to avoid the worst!

I hope these tips help you get organized for your college courses and remind you to work hard to make sure your tuition money is well spent. Have some tips of your own to share? Drop us a comment below! 

College Classes: How to Add Them, Drop Them, and Endure Them

college-classesWhile the media often portrays college as being a time for fun and socialization, you shouldn’t forget that you’re there for one reason: obtaining that diploma so you can go out into the workplace. That, unfortunately, means you have to take several college classes. Sometimes you’ll love them, sometimes you’ll hate them, and sometimes you’ll have to just endure them because you need them for your major. Fear not, though. Here are some tips for how to deal with those situations:

1. Pay attention to class scheduling and add/drop dates. Many colleges send out an email to students telling them when class scheduling will occur for their grade. However, don’t wait until the last minute. College classes fill up fast, and you don’t want to be stuck in school for an extra semester just because you missed one class. Also, colleges only allow classes to be added to a schedule or dropped up to a certain date. Don’t drop too late or add too late, because you can lose money and class information that way.

2. Make sure you meet with your advisors early. Advisors are there to help you. They have several students on their list to take care of, so make sure you’re early and make appointments as soon as possible to meet with them. Also, listen to their advice. If they tell you to take certain college classes, do it. They’ve been doing this longer than you and they know what works.

3. Have a professor you don’t like or you’re nervous about? Go to ratemyprofessors.com and search for your school. Most of the teachers will be listed, and many professors teach multiple subjects or there is one subject with multiple professors. See if there’s an alternative course or professor you can take. It doesn’t hurt to try!

4. Stuck in a course with a professor you’re not fond of? Get to know a bit about the professor first before you make any rash judgments. They are people too and don’t like failing students as much everyone thinks. Everything they do is for a reason. Talk to them after class and get to know them if you can, or make sure you pay attention and do extra work. You will make things a lot easier on yourself and them, and you might find out they actually aren’t that bad.

Have any horror stories from add/drop or college classes you were less than excited about? We’d love to hear about it in the comments section below!