Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Part 2: Being a Better Student

Well, first I have to say I was sad tonight in seeing Shaun White not medal...but he IS Shaun White and there will be no other. I love watching these kids snowboard, fearless, talented and focused. These are traits that I admire not only in athletes but in students.

Is it enough to do the bare minimum of homework, or allow your textbook for the class sit on a shelf collecting dust throughout the semester? Are you more focused on social life and making friends at school instead of getting educated? Being a GOOD student means that you must sacrifice. You must dedicate your life to studying using organizational skills.

1). Make a calendar (there are templates in Word) with all your class assignments, their due dates, and any other significant dates such as tests, quizzes, off-campus field trips, etc. Do NOT forget Finals!!!

2). If you are not familiar with your campus, go to school the week before with a campus map and a printout of your classes and their locations. Find your classrooms and know where you are going the first week. This sounds silly to some, but believe me, it is less stressful the first week if you know where you are going.

3). Do NOT be afraid to email instructors with questions. Such as are there other books they suggest for your success in their class. Not only will teachers love you for it, but it sets you apart from the average student. Talented students are not born but made, made by studying and being on top of the game.

4). Be fearless! Find EVERY SINGLE RESOURCE available to you on your campus. There are workshops, study groups, labs, help centers, math centers, chem centers, writing centers, etc. etc. etc. on most campuses today. If there is not such a thing on your campus...then ask for one. Start up a study group and meet at the library or at a coffee shop. Other students are one of your best resources for success.They might understand a concept better than you and help you immensely. Likewise, as you will have concepts under your belt that they might not fully understand. It is wonderful to work together...either in groups or in pairs.

5). Focus on your school work first. I am NOT saying do not have fun. You must be able to do a balancing act with homework, studying, and recreational or fun activities. Living inside a book is not that healthy for your mind or body as I unfortunately discovered last semester.  It is a fine balancing act, but there are times to walk away from the books and do something fun or mindless. Likewise, there are times to say "no" to going out, and study for that test in two days.

Being an older student and coming from a completely different era than most college students who are 18-22 years old,  I see things that are NOT APPROPRIATE at school. You do not want to be the student that teachers talk about in the lounge or the student that teachers see as fooling around and not serious about their studies. It will not take you anywhere. If you think that screwing around at school is alright then you have a long ways to go before you become a serious student.

College is short, make the best of it my friend. Do not pass up opportunities to help you. If your class goes from 2:30-3:45PM do NOT start packing up your backpack at 3:43PM.


Because it is rude! It is rude to your professor. It is rude to other students. I so want to go off on some people in my class who do this routinely. Your professor prepares their lesson for YOU. YOU can at least give them a little respect and not start disturbing the classroom before their lecture is over. Zippers are loud trust me. There is no place you need to be that is more beneficial to you then the classroom with a teacher who cares enough to want to teach you. There are out there who, like any other profession, is not good at their job...but when you get a teacher that cares...PLEASE show them respect.

Don't text and learn.

When the professor starts talking - you should stop talking. It is pure and simple decency.

Wait until they stop lecturing to pack your backpacks.

Be grateful for education...many countries do NOT provide higher education to their citizens, in fact some countries do not provide any education.

I hope that whoever reads this, reads this with the knowledge that I wrote this to help YOU. I know teachers cannot say these things in fear of offending anyone, but I feel that many young adults today were not taught these few basic and respectful gestures.

Last thing, if you want respect you need to earn it, and you will if you are empathetic to those who are standing in front of you trying to share their knowledge with you. Happy education all...

1 comment:

  1. As a geology professor I enjoyed your post greatly! Thirty years ago I was in the same position as you are, an older student in an environment of 18-22 year-olds. I still try to pass on to my students the same advice you have for your colleagues.

    The more things change, the more they stay the same...