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Five Tips To Ensure You Graduate On Time

There’s simply no doubt that college can and will be the best four years of your life, but your parents were right when they told you that going to school isn’t all fun.

In fact, the school part of school sucks. Half of the assignments are tedious and unnecessary. Half of the classes don’t actually require the lectures to ace the exams, but still make attendance mandatory. The list goes on and on, but the point is that you’re going to get fed up with schoolwork relatively quickly.

As someone who let that get to me, I am here to give you some tips to help avoid screwing up so that you can graduate successfully in four years. These will all seem entirely obvious, but if you’re the kind of student who needs my help, chances are that you wil ignore it anyway.

Don’t go out seven nights a week. In fact, keep it to three or less.

I made the deadly mistake of convincing myself that there’s nothing wrong with going out every night as long as I finished my work. That was partially true, and in fact, it was a good motivating factor to get my shit done so I could go party and drink with friends. But on the other hand, I rushed through plenty of work and didn’t put my best foot forward so that I could make it out as early as possible. I also went to class hungover far too many times. Wait, who am I kidding? I slept off the hangover and skipped class most days. A social life of some sort is completely necessary if you want to stay sane during your four years of college, but there’s a sweet spot that balances work and play. Find it.

Don’t fall into the typical college sleep schedule.

Hear me out. I’m not saying that you need to be tucked in by 9 p.m. every night, but if you stay up until 3 a.m. or later on a regular basis, you’re going to start burning the candle at both ends. You’re either going to get no sleep because you have morning classes, or meetings, or work, or whatever other responsibility in the morning –or you’re going to sleep through important things.

Don’t study for exams or write papers at the last minute.

Yea, I know. You’re different. You can write an A+ paper in two hours. You can put together an extensive research paper in a day. You can retain information that you’ve only been studying for 24 hours leading up to the exam. But that’s because you’re either a freshman or you’re taking easy GenEds. That procrastination strategy will only last so long before you’re stuck in major-intensive courses that require actual work to get a good grade. Putting in minimal effort and passing classes doesn’t work forever.

Don’t go to class high.

Enough said. It’s literally worthless. You won’t retain any information. You’ll probably fall asleep or have a panic attack or just get weird looks because you’re the asshole whose coat reeks of weed sitting in the back row.

Just do your fucking work.

I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to curse at you. I’m mostly just projecting at my old self for being such a lazy moron. But graduating on time with a solid GPA is really just as simple as that. Do your work. Spend a reasonable amount of time on it. Don’t kill yourself spending three weeks studying for an exam, but put a solid few days into reviewing your notes and readings. Spend three days on that paper instead of one. College isn’t hard if you do whatever you can to make it easy on yourself.

No matter what you do, remember this: You aren’t special. You aren’t smarter than everyone else. Your major is going to be kind of hard even if it’s the easiest one at Penn State. You can’t ignore the above advice and graduate on time no matter who you are and how genetically gifted you are in the intelligence department.

Now go out there and kick some ass!

Image: Mara Kern/Onward State

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Posts from the all-student staff of Onward State.

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