Coming to Penn State is exciting and it is important to try and enjoy every moment here in State College.
It can be easy to forget that your main reason for coming here is your education — a very expensive education. Learning how to study and manage your time in college can be difficult, but I have some tips to help you succeed in your first semester at Penn State.
Studying in a dorm room works for some people, but for the vast majority of us it can quickly become boring and tedious to sit in the same room for hours at a time. In my first semester, I have discovered a few places that I find useful and effective when I am studying for a big exam.
It is probably no surprise that Old Main lawn is at the top of my list. On a warm and sunny afternoon, the lawn is the perfect place to sit outside and study, and I prefer to put my headphones in so I am not distracted by the conversations from the people around me.
Did you know that you can study in the empty classrooms at Penn State? I did not know this before I came here, but the classrooms in Willard Building are now some of my favorite places to study.
The building is open very late and the classrooms are always unlocked, so it is the perfect place to come when you have to cram the night before an exam. For anyone taking CAS 100 this fall, I highly suggest coming into one of these classrooms the night before a big speech to practice.
There are so many places to study in the library. I have found it useful to work at the computers in the computer lab on the first floor. The best times to come are in the early mornings and late nights because that is when it tends to be the most quiet.
If you want somewhere new to work in the library, however, explore and you can find a new studying nook every time.
Although the HUB-Robeson Center is usually very crowded, it is still one of my favorite places to finish homework. The HUB has so many options for seating; my personal preference is to sit outside on the tables that look over the lawn.
Managing your time
Learning how to adjust to college life while working on your time management skills can be a difficult task. I have found a few methods to be useful and effective when learning how to study in college.
The first tip is to start studying early.
I was the ultimate procrastinator in high school, but I can assure you that this will not work in college. Breaking down your study load over several nights will make your life so much easier and you will be better prepared when it comes to taking an exam.
In high school, I was never a fan of study with multiple people. In college, I am so thankful for group study sessions. Talking to the people in your classes and forming a GroupMe to discuss a class is so helpful.
In addition, you will feel more confident if you have the time to meet with some classmates to review the night before an exam.
Dealing with professors
There is some stereotype out there that makes all college professors out to be scary humans. I can assure you that this is not true.
Your professors want you to succeed, but it is up to you to put in the work. I cannot tell you how many times I have stayed after class to discuss an issue with one of my professors.
If you have a question that needs to be addressed, most professors welcome students to speak to them during their office hours.
Even if you do not have a huge concern, stopping in to talk to your teacher during their office hours will show them that you care about their class and want to be successful.
Coming to Penn State should be something you are looking forward to.
However, it is simple to become too involved in the social life and not as concerned about academics.
Hopefully these tips will guide you in succeeding during your first year of college.