Skills to Help Me in College

College is coming up very soon for a lot of us, and it is very different from high school in the choices we have to make and the responsibility we have that comes with more freedom.

Even though I’m taking a class on college preparation, I know there are still skills I need to lock down to be successful in college such as being more engaged in learning and opening up more, time management, and handling my stress better. Being an engaged learner solidifies what is being taught and helps make it easier to recall and review later on. While I’m a full-time participant in the activities and readings in my classes, I typically am not the first one to speak up during class unless I’m fully comfortable. Looking back on the classes where I don’t speak up, I have found that those classes would often seem monotonous and it would be more difficult to go back on my notes and review. My biology class in freshman year is an example of that situation, as I didn’t get good grades (usually tests ranged between the sixties and seventies) for most of the year.

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More often than not, I was very nervous to be wrong or to even speak up in front of people that I didn’t know at the time, so I just wouldn’t answer at all, causing me to get sidetracked and disinterested. Once the teacher came up to me telling me I should get some one-on-one assistance after failing to remember anything on our skeletal test, that is when I became more committed. I stayed after for review, started answering questions, raising my hand more, doing study guides, and overall began to speak up in class. This, in turn, got me better grades (the tests began to range between eighty-five and hundred) and I became more comfortable around my peers. My plan since then, and for college, has been to become more confident in myself and my learning.

I plan on becoming more engaged in class discussions, especially when I know the answer or have a thought to share. Becoming more open and not being my own worst enemy will help me in college to better understand the material and be more responsive in the class. I will also be able to get the work done easier and solidify my learning in my classes. Time management skills would be very important in college as there is much more freedom when it comes to classes and a schedule. Developing a routine is also a healthy habit to get into.

My time management currently isn’t the worst, but I do sometimes run into issues where I can’t get things done. Since I work at a bank, a garden center, and go to school, my time management is almost nonexistent the nights I work. For example, the nights I work latest are Thursdays. Typically, no homework will get done Thursday night and I’ll have to make it up the next day in my study halls, or I have to stay up super late to get any of the work done. I will usually come home from work, eat dinner, do a few chores, and make my lunch for the next day (but it varies every Thursday).

By that point, I feel too stale and unmotivated to want to do anything, all because my nightly routine was shuffled. For college, I know I’ll need to look ahead and make a plan of when to do homework (such as setting an hour aside after school), when to take breaks (after the hour of homework, set aside time to eat), and gauge whether I have more homework I need to get done or if I can start chores. Doing this for college will create a habit where I can have sufficient time to balance schoolwork and my jobs. Handling stress can make or break someone when it comes to schoolwork. The way someone handles stress determines if they will be able to do better or worse with their work.

I do not handle stress very well when it comes to schoolwork, so learning how to handle stress will be one of the most important skills for me to achieve success in college. My junior year was the most stressful year of high school and I did not handle it well. I took on too many work hours as well as too many classes, ending up in a lot of school work and responsibilities almost every night. Pretty often, I would come home and sit in the same chair for hours doing homework, almost breaking down every time someone asked me to do something else as I was scared that I wouldn’t finish my work. A good example of this was when I had a partner project in Intermediate Child Psychology.

Almost all of the supplies came from my end while my partner did nothing, and I became stressed as I was putting in so much money and effort while she wasn’t. Once the deadline was coming closer, I didn’t speak to her out of anger and this made communication on how to finish the project go awry. Instead, I should have been more understanding and explained how I felt to her so we could’ve split the rest of the work and finished the project smoothly. For college, I know that I need to communicate my feelings and learn to cope with certain situations to better handle my stress, or else I could get behind with my work. I also know that I need to handle my stress better to be able to hand in well-done work, not work that is done quickly just to get the weight off my shoulders. Developing the skills of time management, class engagement, and handling stress will be very important skills for me to have in college for better studying and coping habits.

Having these techniques will boost and solidify my learning and understanding in classes as well as become more personally tranquil, paving the way to my college success.