For students who aren’t used to the rigor of a college-level education, Freshman Year can be a tough time. Many students who aren’t prepared for the amount of writing, study, and reading can find themselves falling behind in no time. However, if students take the time to prepare in advance, the new standard of college-level learning and study won’t seem so impossibly demanding. Here are a few things to consider when planning for college.

Up Your Writing Skills

For students entering an extremely competitive college environment at a top school like the University of Oregon, the amount of writing required of each course might seem overwhelming. Luckily, becoming a better writer doesn’t have to be stressful or time-consuming. With the help of grammar apps and advanced word processing software, editing becomes a lot easier and less time-consuming. Writing is also a skill that gets better with practice. Try writing some short critical pieces on a timed deadline just for yourself before heading off to school. It will exercise your critical muscles and be great practice for the real thing. Click here to find out more.

Read and Take Notes

Reading is one thing, but critical reading is another. Most students entering college will find the new approach to reading, involving lots of analysis and deep critical thinking, overwhelming and slightly intimidating. However, as with writing, reading critically is a habit that you can get into by practicing. Before going to college, try reading a few books on a variety of different subjects–for instance, fiction, criticism and history–and take copious notes while doing so. Getting into the habit of writing notes will go a long way toward preparing you for your classes.

Learn How to Study

Studying is different for everyone. Some people learn best by reading, memorizing, and learning by rote. Others prefer a less traditional approach. Whatever your method, don’t make the mistake of assuming that what passed for studying in high school will pass for it in college. Studying is something students have to learn how to do. It takes time, patience, and, as with most things in college, a lot of reading. However, once you’ve figured out a studying method that works for you, you’ll be halfway to success. If you’re someone who has trouble finding the time to sit down and study, join a study group or a partner who will be able to hold you accountable.

Set Deadlines

Getting work done on time is a huge aspect of the college experience. If you don’t want to get into the habit of producing sloppy, last minute work, you’ll need to learn how to work under a deadline. If you’ve struggled with deadlines in the past, try doing a few timed exercises just for yourself. Try to set goals for yourself and time-based limits for projects. Getting things done on time is a matter of habit, and once you start holding yourself to a certain standard, you’ll be set for the next four years.