The birds are chirping and the University of Nevada, Reno’s campus is once again bustling with activity signaling that it is indeed that time of year again. Whether you’re just beginning your foray into the college experience or an old-pro getting ready to graduate, here are some failsafe ways to guarantee success this semester.
Sleep is important. So is getting to class on time:
Nothing will hamper your academic success like consistently showing up to class late, or not at all. It seems like a common-sense thing, but the freedom college-life affords is a blessing and a curse. The best strategy is to come to class and come prepared. You’re here to learn, take advantage of everything the Reynolds School and the University offer.
Your professors are smart. Ask them questions:
Being fully engaged in class is the best way to learn. While it’s not everyone’s style to ask a lot of questions during lecture, find what works for you. Maybe take diligent notes, write down thoughts and questions, then ask your professors after class or during office hours.
Maybe you learn best by doing further research, or even just keeping up with industry news and looking for how your class curriculum and the field work together. There’s no one-size-fits-all style of learning, but remaining engaged in some way is crucial. As far or near as graduation may seem, it’ll help you leave the University confident and ready for the workforce.
Time management is the gift that keeps on giving:
Chances are that you’ve heard or will hear Professor Paul Mitchell’s spiel on the character of journalism students at some point in your career at the Reynolds School. According to Paul, journalism students are often wordy creatives who have a penchant for procrastination. He’s not wrong, but the reality is that journalism classes are project-oriented, and that means deadlines fall in clusters. If you value your sanity and the quality of your work, it’s in your best interest to learn how to manage your time early on. If procrastination is truly unavoidable for you, learn how to prioritize your deadlines. It’s doable, we promise.
Time Management Cheat Sheet:
Work-life balance is important:
Last, but not least, learning the importance of work-life balance is one of the most valuable life skills you’ll learn during your time at the Reynolds School. You will not be your most effective self if you’re overworked. The same goes for having too much fun. Know when you can push yourself and when it’s okay to take a break. Sometimes it’s okay to unapologetically binge Netflix, just probably not the night before a paper is due (unless of course it’s already done due to your stellar time management, in which case, congratulations on a job well done).
The point is that college is supposed to be fun, challenging and everything in between, but it shouldn’t feel unmanageable. If it does, take a step back and reach out to professors or peers for some perspective, and come at it again with the gusto and enthusiasm that great journalists and media practitioners are made out of.