For many students, one of the biggest challenges of going to college is the transition from a high school class load to the demands of college classes.

Everything from how to study to whether or not to buy, rent, keep or sell back textbooks can create a stressful situation if you’re uninformed on the ins and outs of succeeding at the collegiate level.

Check out these tidbits to help make your transition to college easier.

Discover what studying habits work for you and go with it. Everyone is different. What works for you does not necessarily work for somebody else (and vice versa). It is beneficial to talk with other students about your classes and professors. Try their suggestions, but understand that it may not work for you as well as it did for them. Make new rules and stick to what you like.

How you study from class to class should vary. With each class you take, the material, the professor and the type of examination will most likely change. So you need to be able to change how you study. Reading and taking notes from the book may serve you best in one class, but in another, you may not crack the text at all and simply study from class notes. Learn what works best for each class early and you will be much more successful.

Be proactive about your studies. This may be one of the biggest struggles for new college students — it’s not uncommon to make it through high school with minimal time spent studying. In college this will not work. Keep in mind in high school, teachers would intently cover one or two chapters and test you on that material before moving on. In college, you have may have less than two exams all semester that can cover upwards of four chapters. Don’t wait until two days before the exam to study and expect to do well.

Utilize the resources that are available. Always remember that you are now paying for your education and the resources Gannon has to offer — take advantage of this. Professors (and not just the one teaching your specific class), the library, online journals and databases and the Student Success Center are just a few of the resources available to students at Gannon. If you are not using them to learn all that you can, then you’re probably not getting your money’s worth.

Form study groups. While they may be hard to organize due to conflicting schedules, study groups with other students can one of your greatest assets. Spending time studying on your own is important, but studying with other students may help you pick up on things you missed.

Talk with your professor before you buy a textbook. On occasion, students buy books and walk into the first class only to hear the professor say they don’t need a book. Some departments at Gannon require all professors to have a textbook for the course, but sometimes instructors prefer to teach from their own notes rather than a book written by someone else. Never be afraid to ask a professor before the first day of class if you will need the textbook. Hint: For classes in your major, you’ll want to buy all of your textbooks.

Research all of you options before you buy a needed textbook. There are many tactics when it comes to obtaining a required textbook. Of course, you can order all of you books online through Gannon Bookstore, but that’s not your only option. Some of the other methods you could look into include renting or buying used books from the bookstore, renting from a website such as Chegg or purchasing your books from another vendor such as Barnes & Noble. Through these other options, you could save yourself some much-needed cash. Don’t forget to ask friends who have already taken the class. What you offer to pay them is almost always more than the bookstore will buy it back for, so you both win (and save money).

Don’t forget that there is a period of transition when you come to college, and it is something that everyone has to go through. The more you focus on your studies and use the resources available to you during this transition, the more enjoyable your experience will be.

Want to know about some of the resources on campus available to you as a student? Check out our posts about the Student Success Center.

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