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7 Deadly Freshman Sins to Avoid

Being a college freshman is such a new experience that it is easy to make mistakes. Most people accept this as a natural part of adjusting to college life. In reality, if you are aware of some of the mistakes, you can avoid them. Some students who start college on the wrong foot never completely recover. This can lead to poor grades and eventually failing the course. Here are seven of the most common mistakes that college freshmen make:

  1. Taking on too many courses: Some new students mistakenly think that the more credits they have, the better. This is an easy way to fail in your first year. You should understand that college courses are more complex than high school courses. Start with those that match your career goals, and then add extra credits once you know how to manage your course workload.
  2. Thinking college is like high school: This is more common than you think. Many freshmen are simply not prepared for the workload and the kind of discipline that college requires. Not being prepared for the changes of college, lead many freshmen to fail as they find it difficult to change their study habits and they end up with poor grades.
  3. Partying too much: Socializing is important, but doing it too often can affect your grades. It is important to strike a balance between your work and your social life. For some students it might be better to skip parties and similar events for the first few months. This will give you time to get used to your schoolwork schedule so that you can better schedule time to hang out with friends.
  4. Choosing the wrong courses: Some new college students feel a lot of pressure to decide on a career right away. This can cause them to pick courses that are not right for them, and they will end up performing poorly.
  5. Communication problems: Some college students feel intimidated by their professors and this can cause serious communication problems. If these students have a problem understanding the course material or something the lecturer said, they are afraid to speak up. This can cause them to fall behind in class. Remember that most professors are always willing to talk to their students to help them learn.
  6. Not relaxing enough: While some students party too much, some spend too much time studying and working without taking time to relax. It is important to take a break from studying to relax and spend time with friends. You can also join groups on campus that help you meet new people. Volunteering is another good way to find time to unwind.
  7. Spending too much time working: If you have to work while attending college, you will need to must create a balance between your schoolwork and job. Failing to create this balance will result in one suffering.

Avoiding these mistakes will not happen overnight, but it is important thing not to take too much time to make changes. Otherwise, you could find yourself stuck in the same situation for a long time. Make use of technology as much as possible to help you to stay on top of your courses. Any freshman can have a great first year in college with some planning.

Exams – Overcome Your Horrors

Heading off to college is undoubtedly an exhilarating experience. However, final exams are definitely not! It is common to feel anxious about your exams – after all, we’ve all spent more time hanging out with friends rather than sitting in the library studying! So when exam season looms into view, they are more terrible than they initially looked at the beginning of the term!

Anxiety is the biggest foe of concentration. So when you are feeling all tensed, you are least likely to make positive choices. Examination is not just a test of your knowledge; it is a test of your stress management capabilities as well. Here are a few tips to get you through your examination horrors without losing your nerves.

Prepare Well When You Have the Time

This seems to be the most obvious yet most ignored solution to all exam problems. You need a study plan put in place well before your examinations. This helps you learn your course and practice it bit by bit periodically so you do not need to cram it all in the night before the exam. When you have the time, make the most of it! Leaving it all to the very last moment will have you picking and choosing topics you think will come in the paper – if they do, you are in luck; if not, there’s always next term!

Try to practice as many questions as possible from your course materials and time your answers. This will help you in budgeting your time appropriately during the actual examination session.

Do Not Over-stuff Information before the Exam

Moments before the examination, it is best not to open your study notes. You may realize just then that you probably forgot something and in a frenzy to practice it, you may put your learning in chaos. Prepare well beforehand so you do not need your study notes on the exam day. Also, maintain your composure and do not fall for these nerve traps. It is better not to know a part of a question rather than not knowing all of it!

Sleep Well the Night before Your Exam

This is a common mistake done by most students during examination season. Most students like to stay up late at night learning and revising the course material – even if their brains are sleeping. This is a sure recipe for disaster. If you do not feel fresh during your exam, your concentration and contemplation capabilities tend to get diminished. Get a good night’s sleep before your examination – you need it more than preparation.

The Peace Motto

Feeling afraid? Counter your negative emotions with positive self-talk. You need to push the negative feelings out of yourself in order to have space for the examination. It is not a matter of life or death, and definitely isn’t the end of the world. Your examination paper was not made from alien resources. So be confident you would know how to go about it!

Read Carefully

Skim through the whole examination paper once to get an idea of what all it contains. Apportion your time accordingly so you have some left for a final go-through. Also, make sure you read the questions carefully and understand them in their context. Your examiner will be pleased to see an answer to the question that was asked rather than what you wanted to answer!

Eat and Drink Well

Refresh your energy reserves before heading into the examination hall. Never go in on an empty stomach or your stress and acidity will not allow you to display your true potential. Also, do not try out stimulants just before the exam – energy drinks can make you feel jittery and uncomfortable, making it difficult to concentrate on your work! Be comfortable before and during the examination.

Avoid Announcements

Tempted to announce to the world that you are headed off to the examination hall? Well, nip it in the bud. You do not want to go through anxiety associated with others’ expectations with you on top of the examination fears themselves. There is always time for announcement once you’ve cleared it with flying colors!

Relax! It’s Not the End of the World!

Still feeling too stressed out? Well, just remember; it isn’t the end of the world. And when this isn’t the case, there is nothing to be “so” stressed out about! Just give it your best shot and hope for the best!

Overcoming exam fear

Exam fear is caused by one of following reasons:

  • Pressure from parents to score high
  • Fear of failing or scoring less in comparison to friends
  • Not being well-prepared

It is crucial for a student or his/her parents to identify the reason and help overcome exam fear. It has many adverse effects on the student’s performance, such as:

  • Scoring less marks than could’ve been scored
  • Forgetfulness during exam
  • Feeling of failure

Follow these steps to overcome exam fear and improve performance in exams:

Study Regularly

Students try to cram all the study in the last few days or hours. This prevents them from retaining everything consequently making them fearful of the exam. Ensure that you study a little everyday or go through what you did in class after coming home. Studying an hour each day also helps in remembering things when you eventually start preparing.

Prepare Well

When you sit down to prepare for exams, make it a point to make notes which will help in revisions. Having well-prepared notes will ensure that you do not have to go through the entire material again. Be sure not to leave out anything while preparing. Students usually tend to leave out things which don’t seem important. Remember, an exam is to test your learning and memory, the examiner can ask anything.

Take Breaks

While studying, don’t think you can do everything in one go. Take small study breaks in between to relax your mind and retain what you have gone through. When you resume studying, remove any distractions and focus on the material alone. Be sure to study in a quiet, calm environment. Don’t choose a place where other people in the family hang out. It will cause disruptions in your studying.

Sleep Properly

Have a proper sleep the night before exam. Don’t stay awake the night before; learning, reading, memorizing, or revising. Complete your revision and study, before time. Students usually make the mistake of staying late and studying, but understand this: relaxing your mind before exam will not make you forget anything, but rather help you in retaining and extracting it better when the exam paper comes in front.

Learn, Not Memorize

The mistake many students make is, they memorize things. What you as a student must understand is that memorizing will not help you in any way. If it gets you through the exam, it will definitely not get you through life. Understanding what you are reading is the proper learning; it will stay with you throughout life and help you in further learning.

Relax Yourself

If you start feeling stressed in between the exam or before, relax yourself. Take deep breaths and contract and stretch your muscles. This really helps some students in relaxing and won’t take more than a minute or two. It will help alleviate your fear and clear doubts from your mind. Also, think positive always. Convince yourself that you can do it and you will not fail or lag behind. You are just as smart as everyone else.

Thoroughly Read the Paper

Before you start attempting the paper, read it once thoroughly and completely. Mark the questions you know the best and attempt those first. Organize your thoughts and points for each question and then start writing it down. Take into account the marks allotted to each question and maintain your answer length accordingly. This will help you manage your time well and ensure that you don’t leave any question out due to time shortage.

Always remember, preparation is the way to overcoming half your fear. Any remaining stress will automatically alleviate once you realize that you know all or maximum parts of the question paper. Understand that exams are part of life and you can never avoid them. So it’s best to overcome your fear and face it. As parents, support you child in overcoming any fear. Don’t underestimate or pressurize them in doing more than they already are. Make it a point to let them know you are there to help them and provide positive encouragement.

Transfer Credit Evaluations

Transfer credit evaluations are complex scenarios, each different according the school’s policies. Transfer credit evaluations come into play when a student transfers schools midyear or decides to enter a bachelor’s degree program after completing an associate’s degree. To make sure that your transfer credit evaluation goes as smoothly as possible, consider the following steps:

1.Check to See if There is An Articulation Agreement

Many different colleges have articulation agreements with other schools throughout the country. Community colleges often have articulation agreements or guaranteed acceptance agreements with many different schools throughout the state. If a school has an articulation agreement than that means that it will accept courses from other schools that are comparable to their own courses that they offer.

2. Check the Rules of the Agreement

Often times many schools will only accept courses with a grade of “C” or higher. Make sure to check if your college will accept “Ds” or you could be in dire straits when it comes to actually choosing a major and planning out how the rest of your semester will go. Another thing to consider is whether the institution is religious or secular. Many times religious schools will not accept religion courses that are taken at secular school. At the same time religious schools do require students to take courses in religion. This rule could affect you greatly so pay attention!

3. Check Your Transfer Guide

Check your transfer guide to see what course is equivalent to what. Transfer guides are often published directly on school admissions websites but many times a hard copy can be obtained through an admissions counselor. Transfer guides can be very confusing. Make sure you have a copy of your degree requirements open when going through the transfer guide on your own. This way it will be much less confusing.

4. Mail in Your Transcript

Some schools will accept electronic transcripts or unofficial transcripts but most schools still prefer the traditional official transcript which has to be mailed in an official sealed envelope straight from the school. Some schools will also have you fill out a form that allows them to obtain the transcript directly from your previous school. Make sure to follow all of their instructions by filling out all of the necessary forms in a prompt, professional manner. It is important to be prompt in this because transfer credit evaluations can take a significant amount of time. Most colleges will require the evaluation to be completed before you pay your deposit or register for any classes.

5. Meet With Your Advisor

This is one of the most important steps in the entire process. All of the research that you have been doing all leads up to this point! Make sure you study the manuals backwards and forwards before you reach this point. Much of it is the same whether you are a traditional student attending a brick and mortar university, or a nontraditional student going to school online. When you meet with your advisor do not hesitate to bring up any questions that you may have. Bringing up these valuable questions will save time, money, and effort later. Your advisor is a qualified, experienced professional. No question is ‘too stupid’ for him or her to answer, so ask away!

6. Evaluation Agencies

if you transferring credits to an institute in another country (International students) getting your credentials evaluated form an internationally recognized evaluation agency is the best way to go about it, it might save you a hefty amount in tuition fees in the form of credit waivers.

Lastly, be sure to have fun at your new school. This is a new school filled with new opportunities. Chances are, you are not the only one that is a frightened transfer student about to embark on one of the greatest adventures ever in your lifetime!

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