Academics is Your Day Job
Your first responsibility is learning all you can from your classes and getting high grades (in that order). Remember, the primary reason for going to college is to take classes and do well in them! It is not enough to just do well on the tests; you need to learn the material in order to be able to apply it on the job after graduation.
Be Your Own Project Manager
Develop a schedule. Plan out what needs to be done and when it needs to be finished. Prioritize your activities so you don’t leave anything important for last. Set up office hours outside of class so you can have a consistent and planned time to study and work on projects. Be disciplined and make yourself respect your schedule. There are no babysitters or hall monitors in the real world. You are to figure out what has to be done, how to do it, and meet the required deadline without anyone micro-managing you.
Be Picky about Extracurricular Activities
Do not join every club or organization your campus offers – it will be a big drain on your time and chances are you won’t be interested in most of them. Choose wisely among those you are truly interested in and those that will help you on your way to success. It is best to pick no more than three or four activities and focus on them through obtaining leadership positions.
While getting an A on an exam is a great goal, don’t overdo it. Too much studying especially for long periods of time is just as bad as too little. Study in segments of 45 minutes to an hour with a break of five to ten minutes. Take time to stretch and recharge with a snack. This helps you maintain concentration level and ensures maximum retention of material.
Following these pointers can make for a great college year but along with scheduling academics and extracurriculars, don’t forget to make time for fun!