Get AcquaintedMeet your TAs and professors as early as possible. Go to their office hours and give yourself a friendly introduction. That way, you’ll be familiar with them should you need help and you’ll be more than just a name on papers to grade. Once you become a face behind the name, they’ll likely notice if you’re not in class which holds you accountable for skipping, so you’re much less likely to make a habit of doing so (not that you ever would).
Make New FriendsYour classmates are a great resource! Aside from the usual social reasons, it’s a great idea to make friends with them for academic purposes, too. It’s not as hard as you think. If they’re in your class, you’ve already got something in common with them. What if you’re super sick one day and miss class? Having a friend that you can borrow notes from is helpful. The same goes with studying – two heads are better than one! If you are friends with classmates, it will also be more motivating to go to class because you’ll look forward to seeing them (not that academics aren't enough reason to attend).
BalanceYou certainly cannot get ahead if you start out behind. You can ensure to maintain balance if you don’t overload yourself with courses that are all quite difficult. Rather, take a mix of difficult and moderate courses to maintain a healthy level of challenge and enjoyment.
Become an Anti-ProcrastinatorIf you stay on top of things from the get-go, you won’t fall behind. Simple, right? In theory, yes, but it’s a lot harder than you’d think! Make lists, prioritizing your coursework and other activities so you can be sure that everything gets done when it needs to. Schedule your down time, allotting in homework assignments, projects and review time. That way, when it comes time for exams, you won’t be crashing and pulling all-nighters.
Try New ThingsSign up for some clubs or extracurricular activities you’re interested in. Don’t overdo it – you can always sign up for more if you find yourself having extra time. It’s a great way to expand your social circle and let out any stress you may be holding in by doing something you truly enjoy.
R & RYou’ve likely heard of “R&R” – that’s rest and relaxation – in case you haven’t. Nobody achieves greatness when they’re half-asleep and stressed out of their mind. When making your schedule, allot some down time for relaxation. Make sure to get a good amount of sleep nightly. You’re going to be much more equipped to tackle the day’s schedule after some proper shut-eye. Eating right and exercise fall into this category, too. If you do both, you’re mind will be more focused and ready to absorb all of the valuable information you’re learning in class! Not to mention you’ll generally feel better, too.
What else helps you stay on track during the school year?