How to have a successful year

Rising temperatures, shrinking hemlines and the summer finale of PLL are all signs of the apocalypse as they also mark the end of summer and the beginning of another semester for students all across the nation.

Whether it’s incoming freshman or returning classmen, there are some major dos and don’ts that every student must consider in order to have a successful year.

The most obvious step to success is simply showing up. Being present in class is key to retaining materials presented by the professor and recalling them for exams and projects.

For many students, this is the first taste of independence away from the spying eyes of parents and siblings and can be overwhelming.

Staying up all night, sleeping in and skipping classes is a bad habit to fall victim to and can lead down a dangerous path to failure.

Going to class is only part of the challenge. Short instantaneous information exchanges through text messages, Instagram and 140 or less character tweets have wreaked havoc on the attention span of today’s youth.

According to the New York Times, research conducted by the Pew Internet Project concluded that educators believe there is a detrimental effect on the attention spans of students caused by their constant use of digital technology.

Keeping these findings in mind, it is important to remember that most classes are only fifty minutes in length, and it is not an impossible task to put that cell phone or tablet away.

Taking notes the old fashion way with a pen and paper can be an engaging and useful method of actually getting knowledge from classes and not just a waste of both the professor’s and student’s time.

Procrastination is another obstacle that every student will face at some point in their academic career.

It may have been okay during senior year of high school, but it will not work in college. It is time to utilize time management skills and keep track of assignments using a planner and schedule.

Following these simple suggestions can help students achieve their academic goals, but college is not solely an educational experience.

This is a time to explore and gain new experiences. Sam Houston State University offers a variety of clubs and social events geared towards school and community involvement.

It is important for students to be well-rounded by participating in these programs and getting involved outside of the classroom.

Building social skills and creating bonds is a part of college life and transitioning from adolescence to adulthood.

Students get to find their own style, so try to keep gym clothes and sweats pants to a minimum. No matter what, avoid wearing pajamas to class at all cost.

The student body is exposed to countless opportunities for mishaps and ways to get in trouble. It is important to be safe while partying and not be caught up with the wrong crowd.

Be aware of surroundings and other people’s conducts in the vicinity.

Decisions that students will make now will help shape the entire semester’s outcome, and it is important to work hard but also have fun along the way.

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