How To Be Successful in the Classroom | St. Lawrence University

How To Be Successful in the Classroom

Friday, October 25, 2019

It can be really daunting coming into college for your first semester. There are a ton of new faces, a new environment, and a lot of change.  With all of this going on, it is very easy to get caught up in the fun and put school work on the back burner. However, by following these simple guidelines, you can be successful in the classroom in addition to being able to make new friends and have fun.

1. Get a planner.

The first thing I would recommend for any incoming first-year is to buy a planner.  Planners are an easy way to manage your time. Nobody is perfect and can memorize every assignment and their due dates.  By having a single place in which you can retrieve all of this information, there is way less stress on you as a student.  

2. Find a study spot that you are comfortable/enjoy being in... not in your room!

I think we can all agree that there is nothing worse than studying in a place that you don’t enjoy.  By finding a study spot that is comfortable and enjoyable, you make doing classwork simple. When you are in an environment that you like, you are said to be more productive and can get things done quicker. Personally, my favorite spot is the Ireland Room in the back of the Noble Center. Studying in your room has been known to have effects on sleeping because we can subconsciously associate our bedrooms with a work environment, making it really hard to “shut” your brain off at night.  So, once you get to campus, find your favorite place to do work and make it a part of your routine. 

3. Take advantage of tutors.

Peer tutors are a great way to be proactive in your classes.  As a first-year, I had a biology tutor as well as a chemistry tutor.  I didn’t find myself struggling in those classes, but was able to get another perspective and explanation of the class material which really helped before the exams.  You are able to meet with your assigned tutor as much or as little as you like and they don’t cost you anything. Getting ahead is a really easy way to start the semester strong.  

4. Make time for Office Hours.

Office hours are a great way to get to know your professors better and to make yourself stand out. The professors at St. Lawrence truly want to get to know each of their students and help them develop their education and find a career path that they are passionate about. Drop by their office sometime- I’m sure they would love to chat with you and they will remember that when you need a letter of recommendation or advice on what classes to pick. 

5. Attend class!

I know this one sounds easy, but it’s true.  It is really easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing and may be tempting to skip classes. By showing up to class, you show the professor that you are committed to furthering your education and want to be there.  Also, most classes range from 12-25 students which makes it really hard for the professor to not notice your missing. Going to class shows the professor how much you care and will also better prepare you for assignments and exams.  

6. Utilize the WORD Studio.

The WORD Studio stands for Written Oral Research and Design and this is located in the Owen D. Young Library and is a great resource that most students don’t know a lot about. The WORD Studio is a place where you can get help on any oral presentation or written assignment. Whether it’s not knowing where to start, or a punctuation and spelling check, the WORD Studio has you covered.  I once used the studio for an oral presentation and they video recorded me and watched it back so that I could see. All you have to do is call or email to make an appointment or walk in any time! As an added bonus, after a session, they can send an email to your professor saying that you worked on your assignment at the studio which will definitely give you some brownie points.

7. Be confident and proactive.

You got this! By following these steps and being dedicated to your education, you will see yourself being successful in the classroom as well as outside the classroom!