How To Do Well in College (And Beyond)
I almost got carried away with my car love; I just noticed my first two posts were about vehicles. But for this post, I’m giving some advice to my fellow college students.
Happiness is the underlying factor that will allow you to flourish in college life and beyond.
Happiness is no easy pursuit but even I with my wild semi-bipolar mood swings have managed to reach more content levels of being, and consequently have performed significantly better in college. If you’re depressed, doing well in school will be much harder. This is quite intuitive. To be happier, you need to achieve balance.
Your life can be divided into three general areas of activities:
1) Social-Emotional Life
a) establishing positive friendships
b) dating/sex life
c) ability to deal with adversity and roadblocks
2) Physical Health
– being physically fit and healthy for maintaining productive energy levels, mental acuity, and minimal stress
3) Intellectual Being
– feeding the fuel of your curiosity and passions
If you feel like you are learning a lot in college from your classes but feel your social needs are being neglected, devote more time and energy to meeting people. Learning is not only done through textbooks but people (who actually author books). In addition, you may meet people with similar interests that may help you in the future with networking opportunities. Seek balance and make a change.
Do read but never take notes from reading. Reading should be a supplement to your lectures. If you must, write a few words at most that will trigger a memory recall. Never regurgitate a twenty sentence paragraph because it sounds eloquent. That’s just impractical and a waste of time. Be economical and realize that in college, time is the value of currency.
Attend all your lectures and base your studying from the notes in lecture. Do write down everything from class even if it seems obvious or not worth writing about. The exams will probably based mostly from the notes. Harder questions on the exams will be derived from concepts in your notes, so writing everything down will serve as a guideline for selecting what to focus on the important sections of your reading.
Classically condition yourself to do homework AS SOON AS POSSIBLE at a specific location where you are isolated. I study at the top floor of the engineering library where I hibernate into my studies throughout the week. If you are tired and about to black out, get your ass out of there and sleep somewhere else. Program your body to realize that the special table you use to study at that special place signifies the ZONE. Once you’re in the ZONE, you read, absorb knowledge like a sponge, and get the hell out so you can continue with your life. The ZONE is supposed to be your “No dickin’ around area.”
If you get tired while reading, take a break. Walk around. Shake your legs.
Take breaks ever hour.
Drink lots of water. Make sure you bring a water bottle to each study sesh.
If you listen to music, create a study playlist for classical/instrumental music only. Anything will words will definitely lower your attentiveness and therefore reduce your productivity levels.
Try to stay away from caffeine.
Green Tea – also helps your skin
Find your optimal sleeping range. For most its 6-7 hours. If you sleep more or less than your optimal sleeping range, you will be tired and will struggle keeping your eyes open, which is probably twice as hard for you Asians.
Stress – www.mindhabits.com
Motivation – create and print a motivation page you carry everywhere you go. If you’re feeling tired or lazy or ill-motivated, take 5 minutes and remind yourself about the things you want to do and accomplish in life.This “Get Fired Up” page should include a list of your: goals, quotes, inspirational people, and anything else you want. Include pictures and make it creative!