How to be Happy in College – and Succeed at the Same Time

How to be Happy in College – and Succeed at the Same Time

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College can be a stressing period in your life. Not only are you giving up your time and effort, but you also pay expensive tuition fees for the sake of a better future.

With everything you’re giving up for your education, you know that you absolutely must not fail. With our eyes set on achieving success, we only see the academic aspect, and ignore its social counterpart.

Like in everything in life, the key to a successful college experience is striking that balance between the academic life and Social life

Academic Success

College is not new to me: I too have been overwhelmed by stress, because of my grades. After successive failures, I paused to think what I was doing wrong and what I could have done better. I would encourage all students to always take a step back and contemplate. Here are some of the things I did to boost my studies, that I’ll list:

1) Scheduling

This first piece of advice I’m giving you isn’t new, but you would be surprised by how much easier your life would be with some proper planning. You don’t want to be the one catching up on studies, and finishing of assignments the week when everything is due and there is a test or two. That is too overwhelming and it just adds to your stress.

I would suggest making custom weekly schedules that best fit the need of a particular week. For instance, you know you have a test coming up, so the week before you make a study schedule to maximize that subject. This isn’t to say that you completely ignore your other courses. It just means you prioritize what needs to be studied the most.

2) Memorize

Looking at my disappointing grades as a freshman, I turned towards those students with stellar grades for advice. One thing that these students had in common was that they remembered the little details. In all my classes, I’ve only ever paid attention to the major concept of the lesson, yet it is these minor details that we were tested on.

I would argue that the tests we write, examine our ability to remember content: they don’t reflect what we understand.

Teaching is another tool that helps with memorization. All those people with the grades I wish I had, were all teaching their peers. Teaching assures that you actually know your material and it further cements the information into your mind.

3) Stay Motivated

You may experience failure: either by your institution’s standards or by your own. What really matters is how you deal with that failure. It shouldn’t be something that keeps you down, but rather something that can be a lesson on what not to do.

Motivation is key, it’s what keeps me going because I believe in my ability of attaining success, even when I don’t initially. If you can believe in your own ability to grow and become successful, you’re well on your way to academic success!

4) Know your tools

I believe that there are so many resources on campus for you to use. There were free tutors on campus who helped me understand my lecture material. Sometimes attending office hours is not good enough, you may want to hear someone else’s explanations other than your professor’s.

A useful resource I discovered on my campus was the building to purchase past tests. As a student, past tests are gold. Not only does is it useful in gauging your preparedness for the test, but it shows you what type of questions your professor like to ask. You may even notice that some questions are repeated either conceptually or word-for-word. Past tests can be worthwhile resources.

Social Success

Going into College, we’re thrust in an environment with a diversified setting. You can find many clubs and teams to joins of almost any nature. For instance, I stumbled upon a Quidditch team on my campus.

There seems to be a firm belief that being socially active is a waste of time when you could have been using that time to study. However, most people fail to understand that being socially active brings you closer to success.

I’ve seen many counselors, who always reiterate the importance of being socially active. For starters it is a major stress relief. Being stressed out makes it harder for you to think straight. It’s a waste of the amount of time you put in your studies. You get more pessimistic and doubtful of your own abilities and that drains away the motivation you put in. Not only that, but stress also negatively impacts your body.

I’ve acquired a few tips when it comes to maintaining an active social life that have helped me, and can help you:

1) Join a team/Club

While you’re in college why not make some friends and do the things you enjoy? We humans are social beings. Even the introverts like me need people in our lives.

College is big and sometimes you’re out of the loop. Together with your friends you can discover and share more. Not only that, but these connections you make with people may be life lasting relationships. You may end up becoming each other’s support systems if need be.

2) Get some exercise

Research supports the fact that exercise is not only good for staying fit, but also helps your brain retain memory.

If you can recall, memorization was one of my tips for academic success. According to research done at Harvard, exercising for around 2 hours per week, is enough to help increase your memory. These 2 hours can be broken down and distributed throughout the week.

It’s that simple.

As students, the college gym is available for use, or you can do workouts at home.

Exercise is also an excellent way to take your mind off of stressful things. It gives you a healthy, and well deserved, break.

3) Reward yourself

This by far was the hardest thing for me to do. I was never sure when it would be necessary to reward myself or not. I realized that what made it harder was that I didn’t have milestones to work towards. Sometimes we make long term goals and forget to consider the steps to get there.

Rewarding ourselves helps in motivating us to move forward. This is especially useful when we are far from reaching our ultimate goal. The reward system makes you happy for reaching part way rather than feeling overwhelmed.

For example, if you got a weekly schedule, you can make a goal you want to achieve within that week. That goal is only partway your ultimate goal. If you believe that you achieved it than reward yourself.

4) Volunteer

While you are a student, what better way to aid your future self than to volunteer at something related to your field.

When it comes down to it, your degree won’t do much in landing you that job, but your experience can get you in.

Even if you are volunteering for something completely unrelated to your field, it will help you. There are many scholarships that are meant for those people who volunteer. My campus offers scholarships for those who volunteered on campus, off campus or both.

That’s it for tips from me. In the end, we just need to remember that if we want to be successful in college, we need to do so academically and socially. As I mentioned before, there needs to be a balance – just like the amount of points I gave out for both.

Try implementing a thing or two and see how well it works for you, and be sure to share this information with your friends. Sometimes we get so absorbed in our own lives we forget our friends are also in this struggle. Sharing this information, you can become successful college graduates together!

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Categories: Student Health