When College is Not Your Strength

Why Go to College? Get Tips on How to Learn Successfully Even When School Isn’t Your Strength

Updated By Staff Writer on April 24, 2020

Why go to college? If studying and test-taking don’t come naturally, you might be wondering if it’s worth it or whether you could even do well enough. But just about anyone can be successful in college if they learn the right habits and stay committed to their goals. Keep reading to learn the benefits of school, even when it isn’t your most obvious strength.

1. Know Your Strengths

School may not come naturally to you, but you’re sure to have other strengths you can play to your advantage. Make a list of your strengths before the school year starts, then think about how you can use those to contribute to your success in school. For example, if you’re a social person, you can use that skill to get to know your professors and find a study buddy early on in the school year.

2. Set Goals

As with anything in life, goals will set you on the path to success with school. Set both larger and smaller goals to help keep you on track. Remember to set S.M.A.R.T. goals: those that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. For instance, rather than setting a goal of getting an A in a class (you are not the one giving the grades, so ultimately this is out of your control), you can set a goal to study for a certain class at least one hour every day.

3. Prioritize Your Academics

No matter how much you want to be successful in school, it won’t happen if you don’t make academics your top priority. And though you may think you’re prioritizing school, it’s important to be realistic about how you’re really spending your time. School will sometimes have to take priority over social outings and even work. Scale back in other areas of life to make room for academics.

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4. Ask For Help

Some of the best and brightest students succeed because they know when to ask for help. We all need help at some time or another, and it’s not shameful to admit when you don’t know something. Ask your peers and teachers for help when you aren’t sure about the answer to a math problem, don’t understand a concept, or want tips on how to study effectively.

5. Manage Your Time

Time management is an important skill that will lead to success in all areas of life. Keep a detailed planner and schedule out all of your daily tasks. Be realistic about how long it will take to do something, adjusting your schedule for commute time, study breaks, etc. You can also keep a time audit and find out how long you’re really spending on any given task. This will help you cut out things that waste time, and allow you to better plan in the future.

6. Find Intrinsic Motivation

Why have you decided to go to college? Is it to fulfill someone else’s expectations? Or to achieve your own dreams? Make sure you’re going to college for the right reasons by evaluating what’s motivating you. If you’re enrolling in school because someone else expects it of you or because you think it’s what you’re supposed to do, you won’t have as much success in your journey. Intrinsic motivation, or motivation that comes from within yourself, is far more likely to help you achieve success in school.

7. Be Organized

If you’re someone who can never find your keys and always misses appointments, you might also forget about things relating to school, like when you have an exam or where you last placed your textbook. Avoid these problems by getting organized in all areas of your life. Declutter your house, designate a place for all of your school supplies, purchase and regularly update a calendar, create alert reminders in your phone, etc. Most organized people become that way by following systems that you too can incorporate in your life.

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8. Create Good Study Habits

Studying is the bulk of how you’ll spend your time as a college student, so there’s no time like the present to learn good study habits. But what constitutes good study habits? First, it’s important to find a set place to study regularly. Make sure it’s conducive to studying by keeping it decluttered and having all your study supplies on hand. Pay attention and take notes in each class period, then review the notes when class is over. Regularly meet with your teacher to ask questions and make sure you understand concepts. Avoid cramming and all-nighters. Ask your peers and teachers for other tips on how to study more effectively.

9. Find a College Study Buddy

Studying as a group can be distracting and a waste of time, but studying with one other classmate is usually a great way to better internalize what you’re learning in class. Find someone from your class who is focused and will stay on task during your study sessions. You can maximize your time by creating flash cards together, proofreading each other’s papers, or quizzing each other. If you ever have to miss a day of class, your study partner can fill you in on what was covered in class. You can also hold each other accountable and avoid procrastinating with the help of a study partner.

10. Take Time to Reset

You may think that working yourself to the bone will help you achieve success in school, but this will only result in burnout and exhaustion. The best students know their limits and take time to reset. If you’re running low on enthusiasm for school, indulge in something you love, like taking a run, enjoying a day at the spa, or having lunch with friends. Better yet, regularly find time for self-care so you can avoid the risk of burnout completely.

Get Started Today

By following these 10 tips, you’re sure to find success in your college experience. If you’re ready to enroll in college, contact us today at Independence University. We’re happy to answer your questions, or you can visit our website to request more information about our programs.

Why should I go to college? Because you can do this. That’s why.