How can you boost your college performance?
1. Excellent students maintain a high attendance record. Yes, showing up for class impacts your grades. In fact, I’ve noticed that the percentage of a student’s attendance nearly matches the overall grade of the student. It is simply not possible to earn an A and to attend less than 90% of the time. Missing one class in college is like missing a week’s worth of material in high school. Get into the habit of going to every class. The best students are always on time, cell phone packed away, and they bring their textbook to class. (Note: as soon as you plant yourself in a desk, take out your textbook and notepad. Don’t leave these items tucked away in your bag.)
2. Excellent students usually sit in the first three rows of the class. This helps you to keep focus. You are less likely to doze off or send text messages (gasp!) during the professor’s lecture. If on your first assignment or quiz you earn below a B- and you are sitting in the back of the class, then move closer to the front. This simple habit can make a world of difference with your grades.
3. Excellent students write at least two drafts of their assignments/term papers before submitting it to the professor. Do not treat your written work like a hasty text or a tweet. You absolutely must print out a draft, step away from the paper for at least 24 hours, and then return to it with fresh eyes for editing. When you are editing, remove passive verbs, replace them with active verbs, and step-up your vocabulary. Avoid terms such as “basically” and “very.” Use your thesaurus or your study aids from preparing for the SAT to improve your vocabulary.
4. Excellent students read outside of class. This habit is beneficial for three reasons: 1) increases vocabulary 2) develops attention span 3) generates ideas for assignments. Make it a point to read one book this semester (or quarter).
But what to read, you ask? You’ve come to the right place for suggestions. I am a bonafide bookworm, after all.
1. Outliers by Malcom Gladwell. This interesting read explores the dynamics of genius.
2. The Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment by A.J. Jacobs. A hilarious collection of essays chronicling the author’s trials of different social experiments. My favorite chapter: “My Outsourced Life.”
3. When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris. Sedaris is a witty and acute observer.
4. Banker to the Poor by Muhammad Yunis. This is a fascinating book for anyone interested in economics and sociology.
1. The Likeness by Tana French. If you are a fan of the mystery genre then this book is a must read. I was hooked within the first five pages.
2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Set in World War II and told from the point of view of Death, this book follows the lives of a little girl and a Jewish refugee. This book moved me so much that I felt as though my life were more complete for having read it.
3. The Best of Roald Dahl, by Roald Dahl. Don’t have enough time to read a novel? Try this collection of haunting stories by the great Roald Dahl.
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