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How To Prepare for Fall Semester in College

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With summer in full swing, it’s difficult to think about returning to school and spending hours in lecture halls. However, there are a few things we can do to take advantage of the summer months in order to stay ahead of the game and be prepared for the upcoming fall semester.

1. Apply for Scholarships

6-13 cap-diploma-moneyMost college students are far too busy worrying about their vacation plans to bother with scholarship applications. This lower competition makes it a bit easier to win scholarships that are offered during the summer months.

2. Find a Job

6-13 bigstock-Waitress-Serving-Food-To-Senio-47117440Use your spare time in the summer to save money from working. Extra earnings can be used for books or to pay on interest on your student loans. Every little bit counts!


3. Intern

6-13 photodune-202599-smart-business-man-with-a-laptop-and-colleagues-at-the-back-mThere are many internship programs offered during the summer. It’s easier to focus on your internship when you don’t also have to commit time to your regular classes.  One simple way to get started is by visiting sites like this one.

4. Register for Classes

6-12 stack of books2The last thing you want to deal with is trying to register for a class for the fall semester only to find it has already been filled. Especially since sometimes certain classes are only offered one semester a year. Avoid all of the inconvenience by registering as early as possible.

How do you stay ahead of the game for upcoming semesters? Let us know in the comments below!

What’s Your Strategy Towards Note Taking in a College Classroom?

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There are multiple ways in which college students pay attention in class, there are also different ways in which college students take notes. Some students simply have a photographic memory (which is unfair) and do not even have to take notes. Then there are students like myself who need to write everything they hear down so that they can go back and study. What kind of note taker are you?

–        Read and Revise Given Notes

Some professors give out printed notes to students. They may even attach notes in emails, or through websites given through the school. I was given this opportunity during the fall semester, and I first thought it was great. I didn’t have to write a single thing down, and I figured I can just go back to the dorm, revise the information, and I’ll be fine. That wasn’t the case. I feel that it is much harder to retain the information when the notes are done for you. Many other students love this strategy though. It’s a lot more organized and all that’s needed is a little review.

–        Notes Through Electronic Device i.e. iPad, Laptop

Taking notes through your laptop is a great idea. Or is it? Many of my professors actually do not allow any electronic devices in class, which to me, does not make sense but you have to abide by the rules. But does taking notes on your electronic device help you more, or less? I feel there are pros and cons of this tactic. The pros are that your notes will be absolutely organized. For me, my note taking tends to be very messy so taking notes on my computer is a great thing. You are also less prone to missing notes considering typing is a lot faster than most people’s handwriting. The cons are things such as Facebook and Twitter, which students tend to lean on more when an electronic device is around, rather than taking notes.

–        Notebook and Pen

Then there is the traditional note taking strategy in which you listen to your professor and write it down. This, I believe is the best way to go about taking notes. I feel as if you can customize however you want these notes to be. You can write whatever you like to get it through your head, and on top of that I believe that it is known fact when you write things down they stick in your head more. Of course when you are using an electronic device you are technically writing it down as well, but I don’t think it has the same impact as when you put pen to paper.

How to Start off School on the Right Foot

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Starting off school on the right foot is important to your outlook for the whole year. If you start off doing well, you should be able to keep it up. Go in with a good attitude and work ethic and before you know it you’ll be doing well.

The key to starting off school off right is to make sure you have all the right supplies. Pre-buy your textbooks, print off your syllabuses, and make sure you keep a planner. Having your textbooks and syllabuses ahead of time is great because you can look over them ahead of time and come with questions. Keeping a planner is definitely necessary to being successful in college. It organizes your schedule and keeps all your homework due dates in order if used properly. Most school offer school planners in the bookstore along with all your books, syllabuses can be found online.

Next I like to make sure I actually pay attention in class. It’s hard when you’re allowed to be on laptops the whole time. Read your material ahead of time and try to come up with some way to relate it to your life. If you can find some way to be genuinely interested in what you’re learning you’ll be much better off in the end. Keep good notes and be sure to note how the material can relate to you, it’s important to take good notes and highlight because it will keep you focused as long as you aren’t doodling on your paper instead.

An additional way to get off on the right foot is to eat and sleep well. Eating good solid meals is helpful to your focus and just good for you in general. Add a granola bar to your bag for between classes and keep water in your bag for hydration. Along with eating be sure to sleep really well so you’re not falling asleep throughout the day. Getting a proper night’s sleep is important to your health and focus in class.

Follow these three tricks to starting the year and you should start it off right. If you try and come prepared and stay focused in class you should be off on the right foot. School is exciting at first and it is hard to stay focused but it’s possible with a little determination and hard work to have a good time and do well in classes. Best of luck!