Organize your life
The easiest way to get organized is by writing everything down. You can buy a Moleskine notebook or use an app on your tablet or phone. Create lists of your weekly assignments, trips to grocery store and library books you want to check out. Your planner should always be close at hand so that you can add notes or review lists whenever necessary. Make it a habit to review your lists at least once a week to stay on top of things and plan ahead.
To organize your space, create an inbox zone and add anything new to it, like new books and assignments. Sort the inbox pile every night and put everything into its rightful place. This way you will always know where to find everything important.
Study your professors
You are going to spend a whole semester with your professors, so it pays to learn more about them in advance. Check out the department`s website or google their names, but don`t turn into a Facebook stalker. Look through their publications and bio, incorporate this information into your next talk during office hours. Take note of any interesting topics you would like to discuss that fall outside of the class` scope. You never know what little gems of wisdom professors might share during small talk.
Look out for mentors
Compile a list of people you admire. Include your favorite professors and writers, successful businessmen or sportsmen. Reach out to those closest to you and offer to buy them a cup of coffee. Talk about how you admire their work and achievements and ask for advice. Keep up steady communication to create a lasting relationship with one or two mentors. Steer clear of people dismissing you out of hand, and curb your admiration for those who don`t reserve it.
Have fun networking
College life is ripe with opportunities to join clubs, sports teams, volunteer organizations and music bands. Choose one or two and make new friends, experience camaraderie and give leadership a go. These activities will be a great fun and will also provide you with valuable connections. Who knows, you might just cash in some favors a few years down the road.
Have your say
Even if you have always been shy during high school years, start speaking up in college. Never pass up an opportunity to state your opinion in class, participate in discussions, give presentations and ask questions. The more you speak publically, the more confident and able speaker you will become. And that is a desirable skill many employers look for when hiring.
Don`t stop at assigned reading material, consider the topics you are interested in and check out a few books from the library. You can look through literary magazines or blogs to find interesting reads. If you cannot find time for reading, keep a book close when you are in between classes, waiting in line or eating lunch. Reading for pleasure will broaden your mind in ways your classes never will.
Challenge yourself to meet your goals
Ask yourself, what you wish to achieve by the time the semester is over. Don`t limit your goals to the grades. Consider your personal development and growth. Create two lists of goals: short-term (for one week, one month, a semester) and long-term (for a year or five). Look through these lists regularly and make sure what you are doing is getting you closer to fulfilling your goals. Otherwise, reconsider your actions or aims.
Do something new
It seems like everyone and their dog is starting their own business right now. But you don`t have to go full startup in college. Start writing your first novel or create a band. You can even start your own blog or organize a pep rally. Creative work will bring you so much satisfaction you might just not want to stop.
Work hard, play hard
After cramming for midterms and getting good grades, you deserve some time to chill out. Have a drink or go out on a date, sleep for a full 12 hours or party all night. Do whatever you need to cool off after weeks of stress and hard work. Remember that college is not only about getting a degree but about growing as a person and learning to balance different parts of your life. And it is much easier to learn this skill when you`re young and free than when you`ve got to manage your kids, spouse, and boss at the same time.
A healthy body means faster learning, better attention span, and increased alertness. Take care of yourself by exercising a few hours every week, eating healthy in between weekend junk food binges, and sleeping full 8 hours at least half of the nights.
A little extra
Study yourself. It might not be one of your disciplines, but learning your strengths and weaknesses should be among your life goals in college. Utilize your strong suits and deal with shortcomings. College years provide you with a great opportunity for self-improvement. Don`t waste it!
No one expects you to follow this list religiously, but try fulfilling a few of the suggestions and your college experience will take a new turn. These pointers will help you make college life fuller, develop new skills, create stronger relationships and quicken your personal development. And aren`t these the things you went to college for?