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Mastering your First Year: The Secrets to Straight A’s and a Social Life


Posted on February 16, 2015 by Delaware Valley College.

While furthering your education is the primary goal when attending college, the overall experience, including the social aspect, can be just as rewarding as the academic benefits. But it’s important to balance both your school work and your social life to get the most out of your college years. 

Consider the following tips for maintaining a high GPA while also having a social life during your first year of college.

Don’t Skip Class
Your classes should be your first priority in college. It’s important to attend every session, missing class only when you’re sick or dealing with an emergency. It’s also important to make sure your social life doesn’t negatively affect your classwork and grades. Spending the required time in class will help you stay on top of your studies and fully understand what’s going on in the course so you can spend your free time with friends or enjoying extracurricular activities.

Do Your Homework
It may be tempting to choose a night out with friends over completing a homework assignment, but doing this will only hurt you in the long run. Your homework assignments count toward your class grade and help you understand the material. Failing to complete them or complete them well could negatively impact your grade.

Take Advantage of Office Hours
If you ever feel unsure about a class or its course material, set up a meeting with your professor to discuss the problem one on one. It’s best to address the situation early rather than feeling lost and falling behind, and your professor will respect you for asking for help when you need it. 

Study with Your Friends
Your friends have plenty of classwork as well, so why not get together at the library for a few hours of studying? You can chat during breaks, get snacks together and even study together if you have the same courses. This will allow you to spend time with your friends while also being productive academically. 

Relax on the Weekends
Use your weekdays and weeknights for academics; go to class, do your homework and study for exams. If you’re efficient in getting all of your work done and studying for an adequate amount of time during the week, you should be able to use your weekends to recharge and spend time with your friends. However, it may be necessary to dip into the weekends when preparing for an exam or completing a large assignment. Be sure to use your best judgment for these situations. 

Leave Time for Just You
Transitioning from high school to college can be difficult, so it’s important to take care of yourself first. It’s crucial to recharge your batteries and take on college with a strong mind. Get enough sleep, eat healthful foods and maintain a healthy exercise regimen so you can feel your best and tackle everything that comes your way.  

Remember that the best way to successfully navigate your first year of college is having a healthy balance of everything. Focus on your schoolwork, spend time with your friends when your work is complete and take some personal time for yourself.