College Survival

Dear potential and current students,
Let me remind you that college is hard. I know you hear that college is all wild-times and great fun, but it won’t last long unless you pass your classes (or perhaps you just really enjoy burning all your money on tuition for nothing in return). Either way, college doesn’t last forever (although it may seem like it) and there is definitely a right way and a wrong way to do it.
Maybe you have been warned before: freshman year makes or breaks students. This is the proving ground. Kids show up, kids party too hard, kids go home to their parents and get employed at McDonalds.
OR, kids show up, balance their homework and social life, get their own apartment and make their parents happy.
Look, I realize it’s a lot easier said than done. It isn’t hard to make it through some of your classes, but the real deal is that you have to put some time and effort into them. Use your resources, I promise your classmates don’t bite (let’s not debate this one). Get their help even if you think you can do it all on your own. If you’re one of the students determined to finish a program at a reasonable pace, you will understand how heavy your load will be at some points. At times, it can be a pretty scary thing to face. Having a solid group of peers to collaborate with can make you feel a lot more comfortable carrying a mountain of schoolwork on your shoulders.
As a Junior, in UAF’s Mining Engineering program, I have seen my share of loaded weekends—it takes a lot of patience to get through them. I know many of you readers are in high school or somewhere along those lines, and it comes pretty naturally to procrastinate with your schoolwork. Here is a survival tool you may have never even thought to use – Don’t Procrastinate! I know, I know! It seems crazy. Doing homework BEFORE it is due? No way!
Look at your assignment a few days before you even plan on working on it. Now, think of a plan. What is your approach to the homework? Do you have a clear idea of what topic you will write on, or what methods you will use to solve the problem? If your answer is no, fix the issue. Brainstorm in your time away from the assignment, browse through your text to find a method to solve the problem, or even ask a friend. Jot some notes down and come back to it later.
If you can manage this, you will be making a lot more progress than you may think. By looking over and doing this assessment you plant the information in your brain and create an incubation period. This period allows for your brain to develop the problem and give you direction when you sit down to finish the problem.
Finally, sit down with time to spare and get to work. If you have two days left, do half of your project now and half later if you want. Just make sure you eliminate some of your work so that you have less of it weighing on you at the last minute. It will make you feel busier and likely more confident in your work when it is finished.
And yes, I know it is a little late in the semester to be giving this advice (and, by no means do I manage to stay on top of my own workload 100%) but college is about showing commitment to learning, and doing the work one way or another is what ultimately matters the most.  
Good Luck,

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