Habits for a Successful First Semester of College

Welcome to college. 

It’s fun, it’s stimulating and it’s a lot different. Here, no one forces you to go to bed at a reasonable hour or drags you to consciousness in the morning. And no one is going to nag you to go to class, develop good study habits or eat your vegetables. In other words, your success in college depends on you. 

For some new students, that new responsibility can be overwhelming. But finding success and happiness in college doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, experts like LiveCareer and EducationQuest say it can boil down to two things: Discipline and organization. Luckily, there are many easy steps you can take to achieve both to master your first semester of college. 

Steps like:  

  • Go to class. Seems pretty basic, but some days another hour of sleep sounds more inviting than a physics lecture. But missing even a couple of classes can cause you to get behind, miss assignments, and potentially feel lost the next time you do show up to class and find that this week’s lesson builds upon everything you missed last week. 
  • Get some sleep. With no one forcing you to go to bed, it’s tempting to stay up late. But your brain needs rest to function, and to learn. One more thing: Sleep helps your immune system fight disease. 
  • Sit up front in class. If you forget the sleep thing, don’t figure you can hide in the back of the room and catch a few winks. That doesn’t help you learn, and it doesn’t endear you to your instructor. Stay up front and stay alert. 
  • Take note. When it comes to notetaking, quantity and quality matter. It’s easier to keep up when you’re typing on a laptop, but studies have shown that the physical act of writing – with those historic artifacts called pen and paper – enhances learning. Whatever method you use, don’t skip this important step.
  • Don't procrastinate. Waiting until the last minute to complete an assignment or read those chapters wasn’t a good idea in high school, and it’s an even worse idea in college. Staying up to date means you don’t have to scramble or stay up all night before a test.

Finally, don’t be afraid to get help. Your instructor, your academic advisor, even your classmates can help you – don’t be afraid to ask! Luckily, Regis students have a team of professionals and an extensive support system in their corner, ready to lend a hand. 

That includes: 

  • The Writing Center offers in-person and online appointments. Writing coaches for graduate and undergraduate students can help you construct an argument, revise a paper, even brainstorm ideas. 
  • Tutoring through The Learning Commons. On-line or in person, whether it’s Spanish verbs or quadratic equations that have your brain in knots, Regis tutors are there for you. 
  • Academic Success Workshops can walk you through optimum study habits, APA style, and more.
  • Smarthinking is an academic online tutoring service that provides support from tutors qualified in many fields, including writing, business, nursing, computer programming, math and several sciences. Regis students receive 10 free Smarthinking hours per year. 

Last, but definitely not least, when you’re crafting your class and study schedule, build in time for you. Whether it’s getting involved on campus, doing yoga stretches or building Lego masterpieces, find something you enjoy, and do it. You and your brain need a break! 

The success of our students is important to us! Learn more about our broad range of student support services here. 

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