The secret to college success

By Michaella Lesieur, Staff Writer

Each year college brings a new start for the Corsair family, whether you’re a freshman or first year graduate student there are tips and tricks to start off your journey and to continue to use over your next couple of years.

1. Explore and Take Note
As the semester starts make sure to take out your marker and star all your “hot zones” for the year. Make sure you know what times each office opens.
This will help you understand what is available to you and how you can fit it into your schedule. Knowing about each area on campus will allow you to make the most out of your experience at UMass Dartmouth.

(My favorite spots on campus for homework would have to be the library and liberal arts, both have quiet spots where you can get all your work done, while listening to your favorite tunes.)

2. Pre-Plan and Take Initiative
Instead of assuming, pre-plan and become your own leader. If you do not know something or understand, ask questions.
Make time for everything that is important: studying, tutoring, work, club and organizations, sports, working out and spending time with family and friends.
By sitting down and planning out your weekly schedule it will make each task seem much more attainable.

(I like to sit down and pre-plan my planner for the month. This helps me to know what is coming up in the future and to space out my time effectively.)

3. Color Code and Prioritize
Assign each class a specific color; this will help you keep everything neat and organized as the semester continues to progress and get busier and busier.
That ten extra minutes you spent searching for an outline could be substituted with some “free time.” Make sure you are doing the most important thing first and going down the list from there.

(This is one of my favorite things about school supplies. Color coding can be simple, choose your favorite colors and match folders and notebooks for each class.)

4. Short Hand First Then Rewrite
When taking a lecture-based class use short hand language that is understandable to you. This will allow you to get more down on the paper, so you don’t miss anything that may be important. Then later that day take time to rewrite your notes.

(I like to rewrite my notes and star all the important information and highlight key points and definitions. Instead of having my notebook look like it’s all words, it makes it stand out.)

5. Eat, Sleep, Exercise and Repeat
As busy as school can get you also need to keep yourself healthy and in check. Make sure you are carving out some “you” time and eating not only a well balance diet but sleeping an adequate number of hours and exercising in between.

(I like to work out early in the morning. I feel it’s a great way to start off the day and will give you the energy you need to keep you moving for that late class you might have. Afterwards stop by the Corsair Café for a coffee or smoothie.)

6. Participate and Engage Yourself
Make sure you’re participating in class and understanding what is going on. Furthermore, try to get involved in different clubs and organizations.
This is a great way to get to know the people around you. Having that network of people will make for a much easier couple of years and create long lasting relationships.

All in all, remember to stay focused and have fun. Enjoy UMass Dartmouth and all the opportunities that come your way. It’s all part of the journey and you never know where it may lead you.

PHOTO COURTESY: FISKARS

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