By Blake Wedding —

The transitional period of coming to college is known for being a stressful and intimidating period for new students. By the first two weeks many find that college is completely different from high school. There’s more responsibility and deadlines thus making the workload overwhelming.

However, the University of Louisville faculty and staff want incoming students to know there are many options to better prepare themselves for college life.

There are several groups at U of L whose main purpose is to offer insightful advice on how to study better.

For instance, U of L’s Resource for Academic Achievement program offers quite a few tips for first-year students.

“REACH provides many options for support, such as tutoring and study strategies seminars, as do our other amazing services here at U of L.  The earlier you seek out support, studies show that it can impact your GPA in a positive way,” said REACH assistant director Julie Hohmann.

“I can’t emphasize this enough; going to class is the best way to get your brain familiar with content,” said Hohmann.

Every semester new students believe they can still land all A’s without showing up to the majority of their classes like in high school. Shockingly this isn’t how college works.

No matter how smart any student is no one can always account for the contextually specific information that you will only learn in class.

It’s also not enough to simply show up to class. New students should understand the importance of focusing and participating in class.

“It is easy to get distracted during class,” Hohmann said. “However, students who have used restraint from surfing online and really tune into the professor, have a much easier time retaining information when studying outside class.”

“If you have a hard time keeping on-task, there are many apps that can lock you out of distracting programs on your computers or phones,” said Hohmann.

Another key point for new students to consider is the idea of time management. Having structure outside of the classroom keeps things less overwhelming.

“Take control of your time by using a planner, app, calendar to schedule study time, work, etc,” said Hohmann.

But surviving college takes more than just planning out every deadline and going to class for hours everyday. Most of the time you’re running between classes and staying up late to finish projects and papers. Unfortunately sleep gets put on the back burner in college for better or worse.

However, Hohmann reminds students that sleep is a necessity and important to stay afloat in classes.

“Never underestimate how much you need sleep,” said Hohmann. “Good sleep, not choppy sleep, is the central focus. The more quality sleep, the more effectively you can learn.“

The best way to survive college though is to just keep calm.

“Take a deep breath and relax,” said Hohmann. “Some stress is beneficial and will help, but too much can really impact your brain’s ability to process information.”

It’s important to understand that sometimes bad things will happen that are out of your control in your studies, but those things are temporary. What matters is how you respond to those things.

Photo by Joseph Garcia / The Louisville Cardinal