1. If you have lazy teachers, google a direct quote from a worksheet or assignment and you can sometimes find teaching resources and answers online.
2. If you need to participate in group discussion but aren’t sure about the material, ask intelligent questions instead of trying to answer what you don’t get – it’ll buy you time and you’ll still be participating.
3. Browse the textbook before the lecture, or at least skim the introduction and the section headings. It’s a lot easier to remember information if you walk into the classroom with a little bit of context.
4. Before exam make a copy of all the material you have to know, but change it in the way you would explain it. It helps A LOT to learn the subject.
5. Setup email forwards for university emails, this allows you to get student discounts with a valid university email way after your finish and they stop you accessing your account.
6. If you want to use Wikipedia when writing an academic essay, just cite the sources that Wikipedia cites. Not only does it reduce your workload a lot, but it makes it look like you’ve done a ton of reading during your research which your professor will be really impressed by.
7. Don’t have large meals if you study overnight. Have small snacks. Also, limit the caffeine so that you are able to rest. Have caffeine as you wake up, not to stay awake, because if you are struggling to stay awake, you’ll get better results from another sleep period.
8. Record lectures on your phone and listen to them while studying for tests. So many times in lectures you get so caught up in taking notes that you completely miss things the professor says. I’ve picked up on so many things that I totally missed in the notes but heard the professor say it in the recording. Also takes pressure off you to take crazy fast notes.
9. Consolidate each syllabus into a single calendar. I am lazy and I suck at working ahead. 1 hour up front saved my ass so many times. You probably have 3 exams on the same day during week 8… figure that shit out now.
10. If the teacher uses powerpoint (and assuming it’s not automatically online somewhere), perhaps ask for a copy of the presentation. Some teachers are willing to hand out copies of their own lesson notes/prep (depending on level/subject/how nice they are) which I found really helpful.
11. Make friends with your teachers. I swear to God. You will gain nothing by antagonizing the guy in charge of your grades. Professors are there to help you, treat them like people.
12. For all you introverts/socially anxious out there. Go out of your comfort zone and get the phone number of at least one other classmate. The benefit of having someone you can ask questions about homework, exams, schedule, etc as well as possibly do work together with is invaluable. I didn’t miss a midterm I’d forgotten about because of this…
13. Google “owl at Purdue”, it is a resource from Purdue University that helps with all sorts of writing needs. I studied English in college, and I still refer to this site all the time. It’s fabulous. It’s a life saver for business letters and citations. It has several citation styles on there.
14. Keep your student ID card! Oftentimes, lots of businesses will honor the college discount if you have the card on you.
15. Take notes even if you never look at them later. Take notes while you complete your readings. It’ll help cement things in your brain to summarize and paraphrase the key points of the content.
16. If you have a rather long break between classes, don’t go back to your dorm room. Go sit in the back of a large lecture hall for an hour. I learned a lot of random shit doing that in college, and I was much better about getting to that second class if I sat in a lecture hall in between.
17. Put your phone away completely when studying. The biggest issue I had in school was getting distracted by Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, text messages, emails, etc. There was always something going off and I’d spent 10 minutes in my phone, out it down, get a notification and waste another 10 minutes.
18. Throw yourself into the course. Network like a maniac. Help out on projects that are tied to professional businesses. Volunteer. Long gone are the days of being paid to start the best band in the world. You are paying for a service so get the most out of it.
19. ASK QUESTIONS! If you’re confused about something, ask. If you forgot something, ask. If you need something explained again or in a different way, ask. Ask, ask, ask.
20. Do projects outside of school that are related to your field of study. This stuff stands out in a big way when it’s time to get a job. When an interviewer asks “What did you do outside of class” and you can say that you worked on a project related to your field, you’ll see the interviewer’s eyes light up.
21. If you’re nervous about presenting something or speaking out loud because you’re forced to, just know that the majority of students around you feel the same way as you if not worse! That always helped me get over the fear of talking out loud.
22. Buy a Crock-Pot and find some cheap recipes online. Saves time, money, and you get more nutrients than cheap ramen soup. Also, depending on how big it is, you might be set for at least a week’s worth of food.
23. Paste your syllabi in a very visible location in your home, and write down all of your major due dates on a whiteboard. There’s a lot of shit that goes in in college, so it’s really easy to forget sometimes what you have to read or what papers you have to do. Especially for non-math courses, your assignments will be due in spurts, and it’s definitely not as easy to remember as a weekly problem set. So it’s best to just have all your assignments easily visible. It pays dividends.
24. You’ve got to play the meta-game. If your lazy and unorganized like me, you won’t have time to properly study for everything and complete every assignment. That’s when you look at the grade distribution and start with the items that are worth the most.
25. Do not leave things to be done just before the deadline. Do it ahead of time, if possible, so you avoid unnecessary stress. Helps me survive. Also, learn how to manage your time well.
26. Treat it like a 9-5 job, you’ll get so much work done, and won’t have any feeling of guilt during time off.
27. Your goal is to find the bathroom on campus that’s used infrequently and find out when they clean it. When you find the perfect time and location, don’t tell anyone until you graduate.
28. Get enough sleep. Seriously. I know it’s hard. I know there’s not enough hours in the day. But if you’re gonna cut anything, it shouldn’t be sleep.
29. If you don’t know how to study, or have a hard time getting yourself to do homework: Get a friend to buddy with. My ADHD ass can’t study to save my life, but if my friend is in the room concentrating on that shit, I feel like I don’t want to be left out, and I’ll buckle down so we’re on the same page. If you can’t manufacture executive function, peer pressure is fine too
30. For all my fellow commuters out there: Meal Prep! You will save so much money by making some rice and chicken at home instead of buying some food every day. I used to buy subway twice a week as I was at school for a long time of those days. I just started to do meal prep and I feel so much better about not spending that much money anymore.