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Moving from high school to college is a big transition for every student. However, with preparation and diligence, this change need not be overly difficult for a new college student pursuing a bachelor’s degree. Although the course load will be challenging and the change in living quarters will likely require some adjustment, most students are ready to embrace these new circumstances with positive attitudes. The college course load will present new and formidable material, but with organization, focus, and effective time management, it’s possible to excel and thrive as a new college student.

Time Management

Time management is crucial for any college student. A major difference between high school and college is the need for students to manage their own time instead of having parents and teachers oversee this process. Instituting a daily routine for attending classes, participating in extracurricular activities, studying, working, sleeping, exercising, and relaxing will help students fit everything into their schedules. Recording all assignments and projects in a calendar or to-do list will also help with remembering and completing these activities. Striking a balance between work and relaxation is also important because having downtime to rejuvenate helps keep burnout at bay.


Staying organized helps save time and reduces stress. As class material becomes more challenging, it is even more important to maintain organization. Keeping separate binders for each class can help keep material accessible and organized. A tidy study area with minimal clutter also ensures that homework time is effective. Students can also benefit from keeping a prioritized to-do list of assignments to ensure that tasks are completed in a timely manner.


Maintaining focus when completing course work is crucial for college students. Taking care of physical health is the first step to working in a focused manner. This includes getting adequate sleep each night, eating a balanced diet, and exercising daily. Next, set daily goals to stay focused on the tasks that need to be completed each day. While working on tasks, students should minimize distractions to ensure that they use their work time effectively. Turning off their phone and working in a quiet environment can help eliminate distractions for the best focus. It may also help to institute a small reward system for meeting goals. For example, after working without distractions for one hour, a reward might be ten minutes of perusing social media sites.

Study Tips

Effective study habits will ensure that the time spent on homework achieves the greatest results. Daily study is the most effective way to learn, rather than waiting until the last minute to try to cram before exams. Researchers are also discovering that when people review new information within 24 hours of learning it, they are more likely to retain the information longer. Thus, when taking notes in class, students can benefit from a daily review of their notes to assimilate the information most effectively. Studying in a quiet environment tends to be the most conducive to remembering information. Many students use study tools and methods such as flashcards, rewriting notes, highlighting notes or textbooks, and making up examples of material.


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