Penn State Berks is a fantastic school in a lovely portion of Wyomissing. However, earning good grades during your freshman year can be tough. Academics are more difficult than high school, you are probably living away from home for the first time and adjusting to a new place while making new friends. However, with a little organization and focus, you can certainly earn the grades you want. Here are a few tips to help you do well academically your first year:
1. Set Your Goals
Figure out why you are in college and how important your grades are to your future goals. Identify the grades you hope to earn and you will be one step closer to achieving them. Are you thinking about continuing your education in medical, law, or graduate school? You’ll want to make studying your first priority. Are you planning on seeking employment immediately after graduation? Studying is still important, but not the most important. Proofreading that term paper for the 5th time may not be necessary. You’ll want to spend some time on other aspects of college life as well, like internships and club leadership.
2. Show Up for Class
While it is important not to neglect other aspects of college life, you should always show up to class because that is the primary reason you are there. Participating in class discussions will likely lead to higher grades by helping you retain the material. Not to mention, it will help you get to know your professors. This is important if you are interested in research opportunities or need letters of recommendation in the future. If you plan to seek employment after graduation, professors often have professional connections that can help you find a job.
3. Learn Time Management
Time management is likely the most difficult skill to obtain during your freshman year. Your workload will be much more intense than in high school, as will the social events. The best way to effectively manage your time is to buy a planner as soon as you set foot on campus. Once classes start, you will be overwhelmed with tests, projects, parties, and club events and will need to keep track of it all. Professors list test and other important dues dates for the entire semester in the syllabus. Write down every due date in your planner after your first day of class so you do not forget. This way, you will know when you have important projects or papers due and need to devote more time to your studies. You will also know when you have an easy week and can spend more time with friends.
4. Organize Your Study Space
Keep your study space tidy and organization to more easily concentrate on your work. Always clear off your desk before you start studying because too much clutter can cause stress and distractions. If you are having a difficult time organizing your dorm room because you simply have too much stuff, it might be a good idea to look into a local self storage unit to keep the items you don’t use everyday. If you are aiming your sights at Penn State Berks, DAK has affordable self storage units to help keep your organized.