College Class Clues

The fall semester has been under way for over a week now, and the campus has been alive and swimming with students. Returning students have been settling back in, and new students seem to be adapting well. It’s very understandable that college life requires some adaptation (college is on a completely different level from high school), and classes require a lot of diligence and discipline. As a tutor, I have already received several calls from students asking for assistance in their classes. Of course, everyone wants to succeed in college, so I’ve listed a few things that may help:

1. Use a planner. Course outlines are provided in every class at the beginning of the semester. After receiving my course outlines, I always transfer all the dates in them to one planner. Having projects, test dates, and quiz days for all your classes in one planner will help keep your semester organized. You can look ahead at the week and see everything due that week for all your classes. A planner will help prevent you from being the one walking into class wondering why everyone is intently studying their notes before class.

2. Pay attention in class! This may seem trivial, but the more you retain from lectures, the less time you need to study outside of class. Ask questions. Often, I’ve waited until after class to ask a teacher a question, thinking I was the only one not fully understanding the concepts. Later that day, I find many students from that class asking each other the same questions, trying to figure it out on their own. Let your teachers help you. That’s why they’re there.

3. Understand, don’t just memorize. Some classes do require a lot of memorization, but don’t primarily focus on memorizing everything from your notes without understanding the concepts behind the information. Making an attempt to understand, rather than solely focusing on memorizing, allows the information to be more easily retained.

4. Rest. It’s extremely important to work hard, but rest periods can be just as important. Rest periods can range from five minutes between studying for tests to a whole Friday afternoon (or Saturday) after a long week. This allows you to stay fresh and focused. There are many things to do to help relieve stress. Try going ice skating, rock climbing, or bowling at the sports center. The beach isn't just a picture on post cards. Enjoy it!

5. Get ahead. It’s hard to turn in anything late when you’ve been completing them days (or even weeks) in advance. Begin studying early. Rather than studying several hours the night before a test, try studying in increments every day several days before the test. You’ll be much less stressed, and you’ll be more likely to recall the information on test day. Use the night before test day to review, rather than to learn everything at once.

6. Don’t get discouraged. Things happen. If you don’t get the grade on a test that you wanted, use it as a lesson, not as a reason to stop trying. Try to think about what went wrong and how you can do better next time.

7. Finally, keep your walk with the Lord strong. The whole reason we’re at college is to grow spiritually and to train to serve Him in the area to which He’s called us. Ask Him for His help every day, reminding yourself that your strength is from Him, not yourself. It’s very easy for me to begin relying on myself, until I realize over and over again that I can’t do it on my own. We need to constantly come to Him for His help.

Remember Colossians 3:23: "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men." The semester has just begun— make a great start! Do your best, and trust Him for the rest.

The thoughts and opinions expressed in Life in the Nest are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Pensacola Christian College.
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