How To Ace This Semester
Classes |  Source: @smashleytime

How To Ace This Semester

You can do it!

For whatever reason, going back into the spring semester can be hard. It might be because we only have a month off versus a few months or it might be the winter blues kicking our butts, either way, there are ways to get motivated and do our best for school again. Here's how:

1. Think happy thoughts.
Surely there is one thing going on this semester that you are remotely excited about. Is it a class you're taking with a friend? Are you not working as many hours this semester?

Whatever happy thoughts you can think of, hold on to them and don't let go. At least not until the end of the semester. Optimism is a powerful tool if used correctly, and I can certainly say no one has ever had a panic attack from happiness.

2. Eliminate as much stress as you can.
Considering that this seems to be the idc semester, this one shouldn't be too hard. However, if you have any hopes of getting motivated into getting any work done, you need to get rid of any baggage that will slow you down.

For example, having a tiff with a friend? Try to get that resolved before the semester starts, otherwise you will sabotage your motivation because you will feel depressed/pissed.

3. Identify your weak spots.
Do you tend to shake off math homework for Netflix? Then you may want to think about either not subscribing for a few months or limiting yourself on screen time.

It's an adult world we're going into, so we need to make adult decisions. It's tough, I know, but your grades will most likely thank you later for seeing what your weak points are and planning accordingly for this next semester.

4. Set goals.
Cheesy, yes. Effective? Also yes. If you set a goal for what grades you would like to get in your classes or how much time you are going to study a week, this gives you an idea of what sort of effort you are going to put into this semester.

Even if you're goal is a get a B in a subject where you normally get a C, this is a wonderful goal to think about adopting. Any goal is better than no goal.

5. Remember, you are capable.
One thing that can instantly kill your chances of success is lack of confidence. Remember that you have done well enough to get into college, if you can't think of any other achievements in your life (of which I'm sure there are many)!

Look a hard class in the eye and tell it what's up. You can handle any class college gives to you; you just need to remind yourself (maybe on a daily basis) that you mean business and you will do well.

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Skip Class? You Won't Pass

Seriously, you're paying for this.

After making it through syllabus week we're beginning to realize what classes we actually have to go to and what classes can be passed with a decent grade with minimal attendance. That biology class might look like a good idea to skip until you realize that looking at the PowerPoint slides online in your bed doesn't in fact make sense to you, at all.

Skipping class may seem like a small, harmless thing to do. But eventually, it can form into a bad habit. By skipping class, we tend to train our minds that nothing is required of us and we can do whatever we want. Now this may sound appealing as a college student, but it isn't so fun when you have no job and no money because you can "do whatever you want" and not go to work.

College is training for the real world. It isn't just another four years of high school that can be easily blown off and passed by showing up a few times and raising your hand once for attendance points. College is serious, and it has to be taken that way.

You have to can't zone out in your lectures, or sleep during your classes and expect to walk into what us millennials like to call the "real world" and not know a damn thing about it because you were too busy slacking off. You actually have to work to make it in the real world.

Just simply being in college doesn't mean you now have an automatic ticket to the good life that Kanye raps about. It's only giving you some of the many materials that you need to have a good life. And if you don't use the materials to help you succeed, one of which is going to class, the chances of you going from nameless to famous is not very likely.

Not to mention the fact that you literally can fail a class by not going. Can you imagine failing a class you didn't go to, and then having to take it again, and actually have to go to it because you failed it the first time? Talk about a waste of time.

You could potentially put yourself a semester behind just because you didn't get up in the morning. Not only are you now a semester behind, but you're thousands of dollars behind because you have to retake the class.

Class might be extremely boring, and might seem like a big waste of your time, but you're using college classes to prepare you for an adult job, where you get adult money, and adult vacation time. Do you really want to risk all that so you can sleep in an extra hour?

Get your ass up and go to class.

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What I've Learned From Failing A Midterm

Read this before you have to learn the hard way.

As a first semester college student, I've had a lot of "firsts." Sadly, one of those "firsts" was failing a midterm. It was horrifying. I studied for hours, re-watched lectures, watched crash courses (shoutout to high school history), and took intense notes during lectures.

I was told all throughout high school that if you dedicate your time to college, it will be a breeze. College is not a breeze.

It doesn't matter how much time you dedicate to your classes or whether you write or type your notes just because you've been told that handwriting notes is better for memorization than typing. The key is how you manage your time with each class.

What I thought: The key to lectures is writing down notes as fast as you can not worrying about how sloppy they may be.
What I've learned: Downloading the powerpoint and typing notes underneath is more beneficial as you can keep up with your professor. Only when you study for the exam should you write out all of your notes and powerpoint topics. This is a good way to keep notes organized so that you will not have to waste time trying to figure it out later.

What I thought: Re-watching lectures is a good way to review the material.
What I've learned: If you don't dedicate all of your attention to the recorded lecture, you won't retain information and you will have wasted your valuable time. By retaking notes during the video lecture, you're bound to catch more information and it will make sense.

What I thought: Reading the books, chapter by chapter, is an efficient way to understand information.
What I've learned: You will waste hours reading entire chapters. Skip the chapter and re-read the power points and your notes. Only use the book for clarification.

What I thought: The only place to study is in the library.
What I've learned: There are a myriad of places on college campuses to study and switching up your routine study spot may give you a fresh feeling and help you retain more information.

While failing a midterm felt like the worst possible thing at the time may have actually benefited me. I learned that what I was doing wasn't working, and that I needed to find more effective ways to study.

You can study all you want, but if it doesn't work for you, it doesn't work. As discouraged as you may feel, it is important to pull yourself back up and continue to work hard at improvement and progress.

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Tips for Doing Better in Your Classes This Semester

Cashmoneytrillionaire's guide to classroom success.

Let's face it. Your coarse load in college can be difficultsometimes. Managing the workload produced by four classes sounds much easier than it actually is.

Many times during my freshman year, I foundmyself struggling to not feel overwhelmed just because of all the work I had to do. There is a lot of required reading at thecollege level, and reading 100 pages in two or less days is expected. There are also papers, projects, midterms andfinals.

After thinking back on the past year, I have made some suggestions thatshould help you manage the academic side of college.

1. Go to class!
This seems like a no-brainer, but you wouldbe surprised at how many people skip classes. If you go to class, you know what is going on and professors often giveparticipation points, which will impact your final grade in the class.

2. Introduce yourself to the professor.
If you takethe few minutes needed to introduce yourself after class, it will pay off. The teacher will be able to put your face toyour name on his list of students, and this will not hurt you.

3. Complete assignments on time.
Most professors take off big points for everyday an assignment is late, and this can really be damaging to your grade. Try your best to turn your work in on the duedate.

4. Make a friend in the class.
It always helps to have a friend inclass. You can get missed notes, study together or just talk about the weirdos who are also taking the course.

5. Get extra help when you need it.
This is probably the most important suggestion. Don't let situations snowball into biggersituations. If you are stuck onsomething, ask the professor. He or shewill be more than happy to help you, but if for some reason this is not thecase, most colleges have help centers, advisors, tutors and academic supportoffices. All these things are there justto help you and you should take advantage of this help.

If you follow the abovesuggestions, I promise your academic life will be much easier. I may not have a 4.0, but I know how to keepon top of my course load and manage the work. And if you get the academics under control, you will enjoy the socialside of college a lot more, and you won't have to drop out before you graduate.

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Why You Should Take Online Courses

You can literally take an entire semester... from your bed.

College is hard. Why drag yourself to class early in the morning when you can simply log on? That's the great thing about online classes. Most colleges now offer online classes, and you might even be able to take an entire semester completely online.

But online classes aren't as breezy as they sound. There's still a lot of work involved, and finals week won't be any easier. Online classes aren't for everyone, but in the right situations, they can be awesome.

First, let me bust a few myths about online classes. Web only classes might not be for you if:

  • You expect them to be easier than in-person classes. Professors who teach online classes design the system so that students can't slack off. Usually, there will be weekly discussions and prompts you have to answer. And depending on the professor, the rules could be really harsh. In one online class I took, if a student didn't participate in discussion for a certain amount of time, they would fail the class.
  • You want fewer assignments. There will still be research papers and presentations, just online instead of in a physical classroom. And with online classes, these assignments happen more regularly. You may have 5 short assignments due over a week's time. You'll have to get used to the schedule and religiously stick to it if you want to get that A.

Now for the fun stuff--the benefits. Online classes might be perfect for you if:

  • You have a lot of general education classes to complete. General classes are way better online because there are usually no draining lectures full of knowledge you'll never use. Instead, you can browse through the course material at your own pace and decide which sections are most relevant. This also means you'll automatically have a study guide for tests, no notes required!
  • You want flexibility in your schedule. This is important for students who work best at odd times or for students who are constantly busy. Online classes will always work with your schedule.
  • You work better alone than in a team. There will rarely, if ever, be online group projects simply because it's a hassle to coordinate. Online classes force you to rely on yourself to get the work done, so if you work best on your own, you'll flourish in an online class.

One final piece of advice: The best method of tackling online classes is to set up a time slot each day to work on them. It sounds contradictory, but it's not. You should still try to treat it like a class but with added flexibility. For example, you can have different times each day to work on your online classes. Regardless of what times you choose, the important thing is to get as much as you can in one sitting. That way, the work won't pile up, and you'll be much happier.

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The Secret to Scheduling Your Classes This Semester

Don't wait until the last minute to schedule them.

You may not want to think about it, but the next semester is fast approaching - or already here. This means you'll need to take a break from whatever your summer consists of to plan what courses you would like to take. Here are some tips to make the process as smooth and as painless as possible.

Take the hardest and least exciting classes first.
Since it's the fall semester, immediately following the longest break of the year, your mind will be recharged and fresh. I know summer isn't really considered part of the school year, but a year is still a year. So perhaps consider registering for the most boring or difficult courses now. Don't wait until after Christmas break to delve into Nuclear Physics 404 - tackle those protons and neutrons now.

Ease into the day.
Consider setting up your course load so that the easiest selections come first. Nobody (at least nobody I've ever known) wants to be up at eight in the morning doing calculus, so save those kinds of classes for later in the day - preferably after you've had a bite to eat and a cup or two of coffee, or whatever legal stimulant you prefer.

Watch out how late your classes are, though.
A lot of people I've known have a tendency to become tired or lazy after a certain time. The most common was around three, and I noticed that a lot of my fellow students skipped classes after this hour. My advice to you, then, would be to try to guarantee the day ends at two.

Now, not all people are like this of course, and I can see the benefit of later classes for students who aren't morning people. If you're the type who just doesn't like being up before ten, consider taking mid-afternoon classes.

It might be tempting to have just two days of class, buuuuuut...
Similar to how people shut down after a certain time, I would be wary of those two-and-a-half hour, twice-a-week classes, if your school offers them.

At first you tell yourself, "That is pretty long, but, hey, a three-day break between classes is pretty awesome." Then, by the end of the third week, you dread your feet falling asleep just as much as the inevitable, awkward bathroom break. If the course is required, there isn't much of a choice. But, if it isn't, I'd consider shorter classes, unless the infrequency really appeals to you.

Don't wait until the last minute.
This happened to me too many times. I was the kid who forgot to register for almost a month. Then, when I got around to it, what I wanted, and sometimes what I needed, was unavailable. So make sure you avoid this situation by signing up as soon as the start date begins.

Write the date down on a piece of paper and put it in your wallet or purse, set a reminder on your phone's calendar, or even scribble something on a physical calendar if you prefer that. Obviously, it doesn't matter how you remember to register, as long as you do.

Happy scheduling, and good luck, folks!