College courses can be a unique challenge, especially if you’ve never taken one before. Whether you’re just out of high school and moving onto secondary education, or an adult furthering their education later in life, here are five tips you can follow to feel prepared and ace those courses!
Tip #1: Time-Management Skills
Take the time now, before you get fully immersed in the college experience, to sharpen your time-management skills. A major part of the anxiety and stress of college courses is the workload. Balancing any given class’s material with other courses’, as well as your personal life is essential. Buy a calendar and start using it. Set reminders on your smartphone, computer, or tablet. It might take a bit of refining to find what system works for you, but once you know what is due when, you’ll have a better idea for how to plan the rest of your week, month, and year. Allot yourself enough time, daily, to complete your assignments and still have personal time.
Tip #2: Focus on Technical Skills
Being comfortable working with technology is so important to college readiness. Find out what programs and applications your courses will be using and become familiar with them now. If you are taking an online course, you should review what programs and software might be needed for each course. You should also practice typing and making accurate searches online to reduce research time. As the lines between technology and the traditional college experience blur, this will become ever more important not only in school, but in most professions.
Tip #3: Establish Prerequisites
Making sure you have the necessary requirements to succeed in any given college course is a great way to feel prepared. It would be unwise to attempt a rigorous course without the building blocks needed for succeed. If you’re still in high school, this is not the time to slack off! Work hard and make sure you’re ready for the more challenging courses you’ll take. If you’re an adult and haven’t been to school for many years, make sure you’re brushing up on your core foundations as well. If you are starting a specialized course or degree, be sure you have the background and prerequisite classes ready to go.
Tip #4: Don’t Neglect Social Skills
Social skills, or soft skills, are how you will navigate with other people you interact with in school and in work. Being able to communicate effectively with your professors and fellow students, leadership skills, and the ability to collaborate are very important.
Tip #5: Take Care of Yourself
Above all else, you have to take care of yourself. Do things that make you happy, be around people that make you happy. Take necessary time to refocus on your goals after a failure or setback. Get enough sleep and give yourself the important vitamins and nutrients you need to be healthy. And, be confident. You made it this far, don’t stop now.