One of the main question students ask when they leave high school and enter university is how do I get a high GPA? Sounds so easy, but takes a lot of commitment and determination to achieve it. I will start by saying that it’s not easy, however if you stick to it despite failures, you will be successful. I have decided to narrow it down to two main skills that should be developed as soon as possible when entering university: the ability to effectively manage your time between studies, work and extra-curricular activities and to always do more than what is done in lecture.
Firstly, it is crucial to manage your time between studies, work and extra-curricular activities. The moment you enter university, it will be a completely new atmosphere. You probably will know very few people and you will be completely independent. It’s important to get to know different people, however to stand out even more go straight to the professors. Ask them how you can be successful, so they have a good impression of you. First impression counts, so make sure you are prepared.
First day of classes you will be presented with a syllabus outlining all the exams and assignment due dates. The moment you receive this, instantly start entering the important dates into your calendar. If you fail to do this in the first 3-4 days, you are already behind, so make sure you stay ahead. For instance, Business Organization (a course in my university) has a lot of assignment due dates. One assignment was due in a month and required students to start at least 2 weeks before. My group started early, however others were less fortunate and ended up failing that assignment which was worth 25% of the their final grade. I highly recommend using Google Calendar, as your cell phone will be with you for most of the time. Also, people tend to randomly take out their cell phones when they are bored, so when that happens a quick check on the calendar could save you a missed deadline.
Do not stop there! Once you have entered all your deadlines, now start managing your time. Divide times that you would like to study, do activities and simply take breaks. I recommend starting slowly and gradually building up a more complex schedule. Honestly, if you start organizing everything perfectly at the beginning, there is a high chance you will not follow it, especially if you are new to this. As a business student it is mandatory to get involved in activities, as that is how you will be able to expand your connections. Overall, once you created your schedule follow it. Create a consequence for yourself if you do not follow it. For instance, if you miss studying at a particular time, take away some of your free time or play time. This will give you an incentive to follow your schedule. It is a good idea to get into a habit of time management earlier in your university career – it’s one of the most important skills many employers look for.
Secondly, do more than what is asked. As a business student, do not stay static. Always be learning inside and outside class. Read biographies relating to famous business individuals like Robert Herjavec or Steve Jobs (highly recommended). If you know what you are specializing in, start reading related books to your field. Remember this is your career and if you want to be better than everyone else you have to do something that makes you stand out. Acquiring skill outside of the classroom is a valuable asset that will only benefit you as a first year student.
Remember to always be dynamic. The economy is constantly changing and if you stay ahead, you will be successful. I wish you the best of luck and remember don’t fall behind.
Writer: Syed Azam Afzal
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