Common Mistakes College Students Make, Part 2
Mismanagement of your time and responsibilities
In college, you will have to adjust to completely unfamiliar routines. Some of these changes include late-night or early-morning studying, different class schedules, sleeping in a college dorm, and grocery shopping on your own. Success in college requires motivation. You will also have to learn to overcome procrastination, if it is a concern. You must be clear about what you want in life and how you plan to achieve it. Many colleges offer services at their learning centers that focus on research skills, group study skills, and time management skills. Some schools even send academic counselors to residence halls so students can get immediate help without leaving the dormitory.
It is important to have a daily schedule of activities. You should set a time for breakfast, exercise, lunch, studying, snacks, research, lab time, campus activities, socializing, relaxation, and dinner. Your schedule for Monday may be different from your schedule for Thursday. But at least, you understand the difference and have written it down. You may have more classes on certain days and fewer on other days. You may want to capitalize on the extra time by spending more time studying on those days that you have fewer classes. It is important to prioritize your responsibilities, needs, and interests; and learn to say no to distractions.
Waiting until the last minute and doing an “all-nighter”
Time management is extremely important when preparing for assignments, tests, and research projects. Waiting until the last minute can cause extreme anxiety, panic and information overload, as well as failure on your tests. Succeeding in college takes a lot of self-control and discipline. It is important to believe that you are a self-starter and be determined to overcome procrastination.
Standing up your study group
You should establish or join a study group. There is power in numbers, and other members of the group may have access to notes and information that you missed. They can also help clarify notes. Studying with others can be very motivating. Your group can develop a list of possible test questions and brainstorm the answers. When studying with your group, be sure to keep up with your responsibilities.
Most study groups delegate questions to the group members. If the group has ten questions to solve, and the group consists of five members, each member should solve two questions. Then the group puts all the answers together, and all ten questions will be solved in less than twenty percent of the time it would take for you to solve the problems on your own. If you are responsible for finding the answers to two or three questions before the group meets again, be sure to follow through.
© 2018 Dr. Pamela Jewell