Tips to help you succeed this semester

We wanted to share some tips focused on making the Fall 2018 semester a successful one for you and your fellow BHC students! Studying routinely, staying organized and using resources on campus are just a few ways to help yourself succeed!

Set a goal: A simple yet effective practice. A goal will help motivate you and help you stay focused. Goals can be as big as earning your degree or certificate in a certain time frame, or as specific as deciding on the grade you want to earn in a class.

Plan ahead: Stay organized by mapping out your exams, paper due dates and the time you’ll spend studying. Using a planner or calendar means that a deadline or test date will never catch you by surprise. It will help keep you as prepared as possible.

Take notes: Good note-taking skills are key to academic success. After class, make time to review your notes while they are fresh in your mind. You can make any adjustments at that time to make sure they will be clear to you when you look at them later.

Ask questions: Your professors and instructors want to help! Raise your hand in class, talk to them before or after class, send an email, or visit them during office hours to get the answers you need. They are here because they have a passion for teaching. They want to see you succeed.

Create a study group: A study group is a great way to spend time with friends (and make new friends!) while learning. Prepare for study group meetings by reviewing your notes and staying on top of your reading. That way, you will know what you want to discuss and will be ready to answer others’ questions.

Use resources: Tutoring, advising, the library, computer labs, counseling and career services are just some of the great resources available to BHC students that you should take advantage of. Help is here and available! Start learning more about available student resources.

Limit distractions: Yes, it means what you think it does – put down the device and unplug some electronics to help yourself study! Decreasing background noise will help you focus on the task at hand. Put your phone in your book bag or the next room to reduce the temptation to scroll through your news feed. Research has shown having your phone close to you, even face down or turned off, has a negative impact on cognitive capacity.

Self-quiz: This is the best way to retain and recall information for exams. Some textbooks include quizzes or assessments, and you can also make your own questions. Go through reading material and your notes to write your questions. Keep quizzing yourself until you know the answers!

Take breaks: Study in small, achievable chunks to remember better. It is important to give your brain a break. Make studying this way a regular habit so you won’t feel the need to resort to cramming in the days leading up to a test. Cramming is stressful and not an effective way to study.

Don’t neglect yourself: It is easy to forget to take of yourself when you are busy, but please make yourself a priority. Get a good night’s sleep (at least 8 hours!), eat food that will fuel your body and drink water. Working out can be great for stress relief, and both campuses have fitness centers. Also – don’t forget to have fun! Spend time with friends and family or on a favorite hobby.

Thank you to TRiO Student Support Services for help with these tips! TRiO makes the college transition smoother by offering one-on-one advising, workshops and other services to help low-income students, first-generation college students and students with disabilities succeed in college.

College closed for Wednesday January 23 due to inclement weather. All Black Hawk College locations are closed and all classes canceled.