Helpful Tips to Navigate Your First Semester of College

Ashley Ramynke / el Don

The first year of college can be intimidating. It’s different from high school because a majority of the studying happens outside the classroom.

To ease the transition and establish new study skills, you need the right tools. Here are my tips to help you conquer your first semester at Santa Ana College:

Find Study Groups

If you weren’t a fan of study groups in high school, this might you might change when you get to college. Study groups, whether with one other person or multiple people, is the best way of studying because you’re also able to bounce off ideas from your peers.

The Nealley Library is a great place to study on campus because they have isolated rooms varied in size that are dedicated to students who want to work in groups.

Always Do the Assignments the Day They’re Assigned

SAC professors are reasonable with the assignments they give out. Depending on the assignment, students usually get a few days or even a few weeks to complete them. But it is best to try to complete it the first few days that it is assigned.

It’s a great time management tool because then you have the opportunity to do work from other classes and also not be so overwhelmed the day it is due. Having the clarity of knowing you’ve completed your assignments allows for you to do more things outside of school. 

Struggling in Math? Visit the Math Center.

The Math Center, located on the second floor of the Nealley Library, is a great place for everyone who needs a little extra help in math. They have tutors and professors ready to help in any math course offered here at SAC.

The way it works is that they have a table dedicated to each course of math and you sit at the table of the course you’re taking. It’s great because you have the opportunity to work in groups because everyone at the table is taking the same course. There is a question mark flag/stand that you set up on the table whenever you need assistance from a tutor or professor.

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But remember, you must enroll in a zero credit Learning Support Course to access the Math Center.

Struggling to find a major or career path? Visit the Career Center.

The Career Center is a great place for anyone who may be lost on what they want or is undecided on their career path. Making a career choice can be hard, especially at this point in your life when you are just finding yourself as a person, but the counselors help you find the right career path or major that is right for you.

Don’t overwhelm yourself thinking you have to rush to pick a career path. There is plenty of time to make a decision and there are resources available on campus to help. 

To Prepare for Tests, Review and Write Out your Notes

From personal experience, I have always done well on exams when I not only review my notes again, but also write them out. Writing out your notes again on scratch paper is really helpful because it familiarizes the material. It is time consuming, but so is studying.

Reading your notes over and over again only helps you memorize the material. Copying and writing out your notes over again helps you actually learn the material. That way you are more than ready to take that exam. 

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