Student Success Stories: Maria F.
Maria F.'s Academic Success Story
I think that when I came to college I realize how easy high school was and how much I took it for granted. After all, you are tested on material from a book that you are given at the beginning of the year. If you do the reading assigned then you are basically given the answers. There is no reason people shouldn't get A's. When I realized that and regretted not doing as well as I wanted, it hit me -- college is the same way (somewhat). There are classes that you buy a book for and then read it and get tested... easy A. People take those classes for granted and don't do easy reading. I took advantage of the easy A's when I could because I knew I would hit classes that were nothing like it. A theories class, for example, isn't going to just hand you a book that you can quote.
My overall study method: My study method depends on the subject. Usually I am a note card girl. I have a photographic memory and always use process of association. I always look for easy ways to remember something. If I have to remember the name of 5 important people, I associate them with 5 people that I already know that have the same name. I find some way to tie them together. If I have to remember a long phrase, I will use the first letter of each word to make a song or sentence. I make learning it fun!
My time management secret: A planner and color coding! I NEVER leave home without my planner, ever! I write everything down and never make a plan without consulting it. I also, as crazy as it may sound, make hour-by-hour schedules for the day. When I get a minute free or right before a class start I will open my planner and write down everything I have to do the next day and the times. Then I write down the hours 10am-1am and fill them in. This let's me know what spots I have free so that I can fill them with homework/errands/etc. I also use different colors for different events so that I can easily see how much time that is taking up. Also, since I have a photographic memory, if there is a small chance that I left my planner behind for the day I can usually remember what colors are in the box for the day. It is important to get a planner with a month view as well as the individual days.
How I deal with multiple projects/tests: It is all about time management. If you lay out your week ahead of time and see when your open spots are then you can go back in and fill in those projects.
My overall study method: I am more of a massive study block person. Just studying for an hour here and there wont do anything for me because it takes me a while to get in the groove of things. If I tried to start studying at 7pm, it would be 7:30 by the time I actually started and then it would feel pointless.
How I've overcome an initial bad grade: Talking to the teacher about a low grade is overlooked a lot. I think that communicating with the teacher is very helpful because not only can they tell you where you went wrong but you are also letting the teacher know you care about the class and are working hard. Teachers don't forget things like that.
My strategies for written assignments: Know yourself well enough to know how long it will really take you. If you know it is a 5 page paper and you can't do papers fast then budget more than enough time otherwise you will have lots and lots of late nights.
How I succeed in team projects: Honestly, I hate group projects but since they are important my advice would be -- don't be afraid to take the lead but know when to back down. The important thing is that the project get's done -- simple as that.
Here are my final words of wisdom for students who want to get better grades in college: Time management is the key! Get a planner -- it is the best investment ever.
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