How To Finish Top In Your Undergraduate Level – Naomi A.
Most people may find the path to a bachelor’s degree to be a very tedious one, but best believe it is one of the least stressful paths to take in one’s academic journey. There is usually a lot of anxiety that comes up in the months preceding a course by a combination of university examinations, interviews or aptitude tests. After all these, some people find it hard to say goodbye to friends and family and potentially move far away from home and most possibly learn to live independently for the first time, all these mentioned above are factors that can be distracting and make focusing on one’s studies difficult at first.
“Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.”— Oliver Wendell Holmesteer
I’ve identified seven tips that will make this journey an easy one, result in success at the end of your years in college, and also make it easier for you to get the most out of this priceless opportunity for lifelong learning.
How To Finish Top In Your Undergraduate Level: 7 Steps
- Master your schedule
- Read, Read and Read even more
- Avoid Procrastination
- Learn how to answer questions
- Take every course seriously
- Engage in extracurricular activities
- Maintain your health
1. Master Your Schedule
The first and most important thing to do is to know and master one’s schedule or timetable. The crucial habits to acquire are just being aware of where the classrooms are located and making sure you arrive on time for class. I remember my first day as an undergraduate when I quickly identified my coursemates during the orientation exercise and made friends; this helps because you can help each other get to class and important information is passed around.
At least in your first year, it might not be easy but make sure to be always punctual to class, this will help you to properly settle down and prepare adequately for the class which includes being able to read what was thought in the last class or read ahead of the lecture of the day and might also get questions to ask the lecturer on particular things you did not understand during the course of your read.
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After establishing a routine, it is a good idea to choose when studying is most productive for you. Different people have different times of the day when they are most and least productive, so that is left for you to decide and plan your day. You should also be able to create time for unwinding and taking in other experiences. Because the university will most likely coincide with a reduction in the number of hours spent in class, there will be free periods during which students will be responsible for their scheduling.
“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”— Malcolm X
The best way to ensure that your work is completed on time and that you still have time for social activities is to decide when you are most productive to work on projects and then keep to that plan throughout the semester.
2. Read, Read, and Read Even More
It is crucial that students complete their assigned readings and go above and beyond these reading lists because there is a lot to learn about each subject, much more than can be covered in a certain number of lectures. I remember in my first year, lecturers would come to class and tell us that if we depended solely on what was taught in class and the materials are given in class, we would not be better than an average student or sometimes even below average.
So in order for us to avoid being just average students, we would go the extra mile to get resources from the library, bookstore and most especially, those that have gone ahead of us, all these aided my journey to being at the top. In other to make future learning of such subjects easier, it can be worthwhile to spend some of the weeks prior to a course conducting background reading on those concepts. While those who completely engage with the course’s contents are typically the ones who finish more effectively, students who get behind on their readings may rapidly find that they are unable to participate in seminars or that lectures are difficult to follow.
A student’s ability to acquire independent study skills, such as critical thinking, taking notes, planning, drafting, and avoiding plagiarism, is another factor that can influence their success in school. Effective skill improvement will require practice, self-reflection, and a thorough understanding of the resources available to you.
“The more I read, the more I acquire, the more certain I am that I know nothing.”— Voltaire
To make sure you have understood the material and you are being exposed to a range of viewpoints, you can also choose to form informal study groups with your peers during the course, this aids in better understanding as you get to hear what others have learned on a particular topic(s) and also share your own knowledge on the course in question.
3. Avoid Procrastination
This is one of man’s biggest enemies, it is the action of delaying or postponing something. Procrastination is the thief of time, if you delay doing something, it will take longer to do it later on. On your journey to the top in your undergraduate years, you should learn to treat procrastination as one of your greatest enemies, Do not delay attending to that assignment just because you were given a stretch of one or two weeks to do it if you find that you are free to do it at the moment, then what is stopping you from doing it now?
Most students make the mistake of delaying their reading until maybe one week before the exams just because they thought that there was enough time to do that.
When you procrastinate, you only find yourself rushing to complete that particular assignment or project, panicking, and ultimately submitting rushed work. While I was studying at the university, a common saying among students was “I work best under pressure.” Truth be told, that was a lie that just helped us justify our wrongdoing. Over time, I discovered that I produced better results when I completed my projects and assignments on time instead of delaying them.
Assignment due dates could appear far off when a module first begins, and they can be begun later. Even though some students stay up all night to finish assignments that aren’t edited or proofread well enough, this kind of thinking definitely makes students more stressed.
“a man who procrastinates in his CHOOSING will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance”— Hunter S. Thompson
Starting an assignment as early as you can provides you considerably more time to gather strong and convincing source material and to analyze your thoughts critically. A student who works on their homework at least a little bit each day will probably have plenty of time to check for mistakes and missing components like citations and references and they might find themselves comfortably completing it a week before the due date.
4. Learn How To Answer Questions
This might seem easy to do, like just reading the instructions and going straight to answering the questions, but to be at the top and remain there at your undergraduate level, you must understand that there is more to answering questions than just barely doing so. You must understand that different lecturers have different manners in which they want their students to approach their questions, some might want a more comprehensive answer than others while some would want a very straightforward answer.
Our seniors organized exam clinics and tutorials for us in our first year and for us that attended, they taught us how to answer questions for each lecturer and for each course and this helped us to a large extent. For some, they might not have the opportunity to attend clinics or tutorials, you can ask those that have written the course and maybe also go on to ask the lecturers themselves.
One thing that also helped was creating questions from lecture materials or resources and attempting to answer them; most of the time, we would go as far as giving the answers to the course lecturer to grade and make comments; this helped us greatly because we had an idea of what the exam would look like and the lecturer’s marking pattern.
“The beautiful thing about learning is that nobody can take it away from you.”— B.B. King
It is also important to go through the past questions over the years for each course, it gives you an insight into how questions are being set and helps to manage expectations and anxiety for that course, and sometimes you might get lucky enough that the questions are being repeated in your own examination, o the joy that comes with that. So studying past questions are of the essence.
5. Take Every Course Seriously
One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a student is thinking that a particular course is not important, take it from me and note this down, EVERY COURSE IS IMPORTANT. I had to learn it the hard way, in my first year, I took and read for all my departmental courses and electives with great seriousness and then left my general courses for residual knowledge because they were all multiple choice exams and I just thought they were going to be walked over for me.
There is no doubt that these courses were easy, but the fact that I did not read or study for them adequately had a great impact on my first semester results. Mind you, they were all one-unit courses, so you can imagine. The next semester came, and I decided to study for them as I would the others. I saw a great change and increase in my grade point average, plus it felt good to know almost all the answers in a multiple-choice exam.
As mentioned above, study the past questions for each and every course, get as many as you can get and keep practising till you are near perfection. Always keep in mind that every course has its place on my result and therefore is important for my grades.
“Education is the ability to meet life’s situations.”— Dr. John G. Hibben
6. Engage In Extracurricular Activities
Universities typically provide students with a wide variety of extracurricular programs to choose from in addition to study resources. They can range significantly from chess to literary and debate clubs to rotary clubs and student unions, etc. You could participate in any of the frequently held student-led publications, exhibitions, presentations, performances, or awareness days. Also, there can be volunteer activities, international exchange programs and internship options away from the campus. When taken together, these opportunities offer significant and practical ways to acquire knowledge and skills. They may also expose individuals to experiences that a degree alone could never provide.
You should also remember to have a rich social life. There is a common saying that “it is not just about what you know, but who you know” It is important that you make useful connections while in school and wherever you find yourself.
Getting to know people in universities is a terrific way to broaden our understanding of people and their personalities, as well as learn about other traditions, cultures, and experiences because universities have such a diverse population of people. These folks might also open doors for you later in life or just be a source of friendships you will cherish for the rest of your life.
“Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely..”— Auguste Rodin
Additionally, university towns and cities frequently design events with students in mind, making this the most affordable period of your life to go to concerts, dance clubs, restaurants, or even take public transportation. In the end, students with active social lives tend to look back on their university years with greater fondness and later state that those were some of their best.
7. Maintain Your Health
Finally, maintaining one’s physical and mental health is a factor that many students seem to ignore. It may seem as though there is simply not enough time to think about eating healthily or exercising frequently between social obligations, part-time employment, and assignment deadlines. Yet, regular exercise and good eating help to maintain a strong immune system, and research has shown that the brain functions at its best when it is well-fed and well-rested.
Playing video games and eating noodles while up all night is a sure way to develop bad skin, mental fatigue and a higher likelihood of contracting the flu.
“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.”— Henry David Thoreau
You understand how important earning a bachelor’s degree is to your future and are now prepared to go forward. Whether you have been out of school for two years or twenty, you are interested in learning how to complete a degree and finish with the best grades possible. The seven tips mentioned above, if applied properly would most probably result in good and effective results.