Entering college can be very challenging; adjusting to the increased workload, making new friends and learning new surroundings often becomes a lot to handle. Many students find themselves in a constant struggle to balance sleep, school and friends.
Don’t let a bad grade discourage you
Almost every college student knows the struggle of bombing a test, especially in the first year. There’s no use in dwelling over that grade — it’s better to learn from your mistakes and move on.
“There’s always going to be more tests, and there’s always going to be another quarter,” computer engineering freshman Angello Parrolivelli said.
Get to know your professors
Becoming familiar with your professor can help you understand the material and it strengthens your knowledge beyond class as well. Go over old tests with your professor to clarify any questions or discuss the subject you’re studying with them further if you’re thinking about graduate school. Professors are there for you, and Cal Poly professors especially are incredibly eager to help students in need.
“Showing interest in their classes and going to office hours makes a world of a difference,” food science freshman Karen Master said. “I’ll definitely be going to more office hours in the coming quarters.”
Study frequently, cram less
Although everyone knows it is never a good idea to cram the night before the test, it seems to happen frequently anyway. Spreading out your workload is the way to go.
“I found that my best method of studying was over time,” Parrolivelli said.
Master said organizing your time is important to studying.
“The quarter flies by very quickly. Through that, I learned about time management and the importance of staying on top of every class,” Master said.
Meanwhile, aerospace engineering freshman Jessica Boucher said she found that improving her study habits enriched her class experiences.
“It is so easy to just do the assignments for credit and move onto something more exciting than schoolwork,” Boucher said. “However, I forgot that I got a lot more out of the class and got better grades when I went beyond just doing the assignments and really worked to understand the material and not just on the day before the midterm!”
Take a break
Everyone knows the feeling that creeps up after hours of studying in the library. It can help to stretch your legs and walk a lap around the bookcases.
“I 100 percent made sure to take breaks in the middle of studying,” Parrolivelli said. “I usually found myself less productive overall if I didn’t.”
Short breaks during study time are always helpful. However, longer breaks, consisting of socializing and exercising, are also necessary. Make sure to always fit in ‘you’ time.
“Taking care of your mental and physical health is equally important, and I’ve learned that I should always make time to go to the rec [Recreation Center] or just hang out outside,” Master said.
College isn’t about being the perfect student. Students need to make sure they’re staying healthy, both mentally and physically. Ultimately, balancing your physical and mental health is the best thing you can do for your GPA, class performance and social life here at Cal Poly.