The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Plan it, work it, solve it, learn it, study it-just do it

By Crystal Sulak/reporter

Many students are shocked by the workload they suddenly face when they get to college.

The seemingly endless homework, demanding teachers and information overload can make college stressful.

In addition to homework, some students have full-time jobs, families and other obligations.

So what makes a good student? How often should they study? What do teachers expect?

Time management is a big issue for some college students such as sophomore Crystal Anderson.

Organizing and prioritizing are key components to a successful college experience, Anderson said.

“I’m a full-time mom and wife, and I work 30 hours a week,” she said. “By the end of the day, I just don’t feel like doing three more hours of homework.”

This full schedule is the norm for a lot of students. Although it may not always be work or family, students still have other priorities.

“It’s hard enough to get everything done, much less find time for a social life,” she said.

Getting and maintaining a planner can help students relieve stress, Dr. Henry Robison, Southern Arkansas University biology professor, said in an interview. 

Students should write down appointments, classes and meetings in chronological order. First thing in the morning, Robison said, students should check what’s ahead for the day and always go to sleep knowing they have prepared for the next day.

“Use a long-term planner so you can plan months ahead of time,” he said. “Write down homework due dates and test days.”

Sophomore Alexa Tucker uses to-do lists to ease anxiety.

“I feel like I have a ton of things to do,” she said. “Every teacher gives me like 10 different assignments, so it’s hard to keep up with it all.”

The key to a to-do list is identifying what is important and what needs to get done, Robison said.

Writing down tasks and then checking them off not only will help keep students organized, but it will give them a sense of accomplishment.

“Plan ahead. Don’t wait till the last minute to complete homework,” he said. “[Procrastination] makes work get sloppy, and students won’t retain what they’ve learned.”

Many students, like Ross Burge, complain that distractions are what keep them from doing homework.

“My 18-month-old daughter is constantly needing attention,” he said. “It is impossible for me to get any type of studying done.”

Other students said they just have better things to do with their time. Whatever the case, many students think it is too hard to get work done.

Finding a specific day and time to study and sticking to it can make studying a part of an everyday routine for students, public school teacher Teri Burge said.

“Find a quiet spot with no distractions, no television, no iPod, nothing, and make yourself study,” she said.

Some teachers suggest studying in intervals—studying for 30 minutes then taking a five-minute break. This process can help students with a short attention span.

Some learners need more frequent breaks for a variety of reasons; more difficult material may also require frequent breaks. Students should try to take advantage of the time they have to study.

When it comes to the classroom, some students feel intimidated by teachers.

A good student-teacher relationship is sometimes vital to having a successful semester. But students can make some alterations.

Students should make the best of class time, Dr. Russ Chace, assistant professor of English at Southern Arkansas University, said in an interview. Among the things that teachers look for in a good student is class participation: raising their hand, getting involved in class discussions, being on time, not skipping class and speaking up when there is a problem.

“If a student sincerely makes an attempt to come to class, understands material and shows a genuine concern, they will pass,” he said.

Tips for Academic Success
Tip #1: Buy & maintain a planner!
Tip #2: Establish a routine daily study time
Tip #3: Make the most of class time

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