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Academic Success (How it should be taught)

posted Sep 5, 2009, 11:08 AM by Danny Eusebio   [ updated Sep 5, 2009, 11:10 AM ]


Your success in college is dictated by how hard you work. Because the more effort you give, the more likely it'll be that you'll succeed. One thing you should realize however, is that times have changed. You can't always expect to make it to the top with shear hard work. You still have to work hard, but not work so hard till your knees break. Take for example someone who works in the fields or janitorial services. You may not realize it but these people work very hard. I mean, have you seen people work in the fields before. It's seriously back breaking work. Now these fine folks work hard, very hard, yet are they living the American dream? Sadly, it's further from the truth.



Now the question of the day, is whether or not you want to be in the same situation. Do you want to work hard in college or do you want to work smart in college? If anything, I would choose the latter.

There are academic prodigies on campus, students who excel in certain areas. This is a given. Now, whether you're one of these people or not, it doesn't change the fact that you can't be a genius of everything. Let's assume your the average student who goes to class, sits sort of close to the back, uses their laptop, and idly takes notes. You don't ask questions, you don't pay close attention, and you could care less about whether the lecture you were listening to would make any difference in your life.

Now lets look at the kid who's sitting up front. He or she's got glasses, has their book open, notebook, and are very attentive. They engage the professor by asking questions that no one wants to hear. In addition, this student goes to office hours and spends extra time doing more homework problems. This student usually gets an A in the class. Who cares about Steve Urkel right? Wrong! The kid up in the front who's doing his or her work is the very thing you should be doing.

1. You should be sitting up in front of the class.
2. You should be asking questions
3. You should be going to office hours for both the professor and the TA.

Take a Look at Yourself...

If you're out and about complaining everyday that you're getting poor grades in class, you might want to take a step back and take a look at the man in the mirror. Academic success is a controllable entity whether you like to think everything is based on chance. You do have control of much of how your grades will turn out, whether you'll have time for your friends, family, and work. It's possible to have time for most of it, but not time for all of it. You have to make tough decisions everyday, whether you go to that party with your friends or study for your exam and whether you sleep in instead of going to class. All of these various factors will influence your success.

Take these steps to access your own condition:

1.  What are my priorities while in college? Make a list from 1-10 and jot down what comes first.
2.  Am I spending more time at work, with friends, or in class?
3.  Do I get enough sleep every night (assuming 8 hours is normal)?
4.  Do I have time to go to the gym each week?
5.  Am I getting A's in my classes?

Priorities....

What comes first on your list? Is it your boyfriend or girlfriend, your dog Shiloh, or your best friend Matt? If you didn't put down "School" as your biggest priority or something like graduating, then you obviously have your priorities mixed up. The first mistake people make is never putting school as their first priority. They forget that they are a student once they get a taste of the ambrosia. It's not your fault at all. It happens. What's important is to realize that you can get back on track.

Time....

Have you ever wondered how many hours are in a day?  Well, it hasn't officially changed since the Roman empire. There are 24 hours in a given day and you need to know how to break it apart. You spend at least on average 8 hours a day sleeping. Let's say you spend about 1 hour a day consuming, and on average 1 hour grooming/bathroom. Let's also say that you head to the gym every morning for about an hour. Let's also assume you have about 3 hours of class each day, and at least for every hour of class you should be studying 2 hours for every hour in class (lets include that with office hours you should be attending). That comes out to 8 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 3 + 6 = 20 hours. You know what means. It leaves you with 4 hours of actual free time each day. That free time also isn't very well distributed. You might find out that those hours are only available in between classes.

You might feel like the schedule I produced is unnatural. Actually it isn't. Assuming you follow the schedule to the teeth, I can guarantee you that you'll get high grades in your class. What you didn't realize about this schedule is that as long as you follow it, you should always have your weekends free. Instead of having to go to the beach worrying you still have homework do or studying you need, you'll have it done during the school week.  Thereby eliminating procrastination altogether.


Sleep...

If you've ever heard the phrase that "sleep is for the week," ask them how their doing in school. More or less ask them how they feel about school, ask them whether or not they fall asleep in class. The answer will probably be.  I'm getting good grades in class (like a C or B), they hate school (waste of time), and they probably fall asleep (in front of class).

Your body needs sleep, whether you like to lie to yourself or not. If your body isn't getting the sleep it deserves, its gonna hurt you. You'll be cranky, sleepy, and sluggish. If you give yourself the opportunity to get 8 hours of sleep each day, I can guarantee you that you will not fall asleep in classes (well, a lot less likely to). This also goes in part of going to the gym in the morning and eating the proper nutrition. (Don't skimp on breakfast, at least eat a fruit.)

Gym...
Make time for the gym like you'd make time for the bathroom. The gym is quintessential in not only preserving the mind but also the body. If you feel physically weak, you can't motivate yourself to go to class or stay awake. Also, you might feel more self-conscious about yourself. As a result, the best way to eliminate weakness and insecurity is to find a boost of energy and confidence by exercising. I do recommend however working out in the morning. During the morning you'll get a lot of blood going in your system and that'll help keep you awake during the day. 

A+...

Getting an A in a college class is sometimes harder than high school. You were probably more prone to getting A's with little efforts while you were in secondary school. Now for some reason, no matter how hard you try, you keep failing at it. You eventually don't give a crap about how well you do and you let those grades slip at the wayside. If you aren't getting A's ask yourself the same things I've mentioned in the articles. Are you getting sleep, are you managing your time, are you going to office hours, and etc. Remember its okay to say no to friends. They are your friends and they should understand that your education is a high priority for you.
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