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How To Get Better Grades and Still Have a Life

Updated on January 19, 2017
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Hunter is a college student in his third year of college studying English. He has studied in Hawaii, Las Vegas, and Idaho post secondarily.

Categorize, Organize, Prioritize

COP. Categorize your notes, assignments, and any other material you're given. Get a good set of file folders to put everything in. Keep your notebooks, handouts, papers, and basically anything else you come into contact with because you never know when you'll need them again. These practices will help you get a job as well. Organization is not just a physical idea but also mental. Keep yourself mentally organized. When it's time to do homework focus on homework, when it's time to hang out with friends BE with them! Prioritize. Do what needs to be done and do not focus on things that aren't as important. When it comes to things you could be doing there is a 'good better best' rule. It's good to go to the gym everyday, but maybe it would be best to finish your homework first. It's good to read for fun, but maybe it would be better to go over the reading you did yesterday. It's easy to feel productive and sacrifice what matters most. So be careful.

Risky Whiskey

Don't take unnecessary risks. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention high school students who don't participate in activities such as: drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, or carrying a weapon, typically have better grades in school (Here's the link for that info: https://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/health_and_academics/data.htm). Drinking alcohol especially at parties and other college activities will suppress your abilities as a student. I'm not saying you can't go and hang out with your friends and go to parties, but just remember that if you have a hang over you probably won't be doing your homework or paying attention in class. A little self control can go a long way.


Rise and Shine

It's time to step it up in life. One of the biggest grade killers is time. Now time management is a popular subject when it comes to self-improvement so I won't preach, but I will give one tip. Wake up earlier. Whatever time you go to bed just wake up earlier, and if you're going to bed late then you'll naturally start to go to bed earlier since you'll be more tired. But you won't go to bed too early because most of the time you'll have stuff to do in the evening and can't go to bed earlier than you need to. This way you're not getting too much sleep and wasting time that you could be using for other stuff. Get up early, get some reading in. Or just start your day sooner so you have more time in the afternoon for whatever else you want to do. If you have a significant other go get breakfast before class, or walk with them to class. Now, I know how good it feels to sleep, but if overdone this can really wreck you, because then you'll feel like you always need more sleep than you really do. But remember to still get your 8 hours in because you'll need them all. And try not to sleep in on the weekends. Be a grown up! Get up at a normal time and get some homework done!

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Stay longer

First impressions can mean EVERYTHING! Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating, but they can be very helpful. Now, you being a student I'm sure have seen other students who are always talking to the teacher, or maybe you are that student. And if so then I congratulate you, I never had the guts to talk to the teacher. I always thought this was a form of butt kissing. However, there is nothing wrong with making friends with the person you are trying to learn from. It's actually a very human thing to do. So make friends with your teacher! Before class make small talk or ask a question about something other than the subject you're learning. Stay a few minutes longer and develop a relationship. It's easier to learn something from someone you know than a random stranger. And it's easier for them to help you out if they know you.

Work faster

Most college professors will require you to read certain material every night or every week. This reading can be very beneficial but also long and dreary. Speed reading and skimming can help you get through it faster with less effort. If you skim you read little pieces of each section which will give you an idea of the what was in the reading but not the entire picture, which is sometimes sufficient. Speed reading is when you push yourself to read faster than you ever thought you could. It's like sprinting. You just push yourself from one word to the next and keep going like that sentence after sentence until your'e done. This will cut your reading down SIGNIFICANTLY. And I mean significantly. It also keeps you from getting bored or tired. Since your'e constantly focused on pushing yourself and not slowing down and retaining the information all at the same time it is much easier to stay awake and alert. Now, some subjects shouldn't be sped read, I'll let you use your own discretion but I know personally I have a hard time speed reading biology but can speed read the rest of my classes like English with ease. Most of the time you'll get just enough to write that analysis paper or summary and get the A.

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