Freshman Week: How to Make the Dean’s List
Many of us are aware that there is a Dean’s List. Some of us come close to making it, and even fewer have actually made it onto the list. Here are a few things that you can do to make the Dean’s List and stay on top of your studies, no matter what your major is.
Study, Study, Study
This is obvious, I know. In order to get the grades required to make it on the Dean’s List, you have to study quite a bit. But there’s an added twist: study to learn, not to memorize. Far too many college students study things to memorize for an exam. We don’t do enough learning, which means we are paying for school with the mindset that, “If I can memorize these things for the test, I will get a good grade, even if I don’t remember them after.”
You don’t memorize a language to remember it for a test, you learn it so that you can become fluent and communicate with others. Do yourself a favor and study with the hopes of learning and understanding the information that you’re processing. This means that you should want to learn.
If you don’t have that desire, you should rethink what your purpose is in college.
Sacrifice Some of Your Social Life
The key word here is “some.” Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights are the best times to go out and have some fun. I think it would be good to get your mind off of things by taking a break. But sometimes you have to sacrifice those opportunities in order to get the best possible grade. That’s something that you have to evaluate on your own.
Ask yourself this: How bad do I want to make that list? That might help you figure out how much time to spend socializing and how much time to dedicate to your work.
Get Things Done Early
Procrastinating is a common action taken (or lack thereof) by college students. We wait until the last possible minute to get things done; and for what?
We don’t learn anything this way. We do what is needed to get a grade that isn’t failing and then we move on.
If you want to make the Dean’s List, do things when they’re assigned to you. This gives you more time to spend on it, increasing your chances of creating quality work and really understanding the point of the assignment.
Procrastinating leads me to this: doing the bare minimum to get a decent grade. What should you be doing if you want to make the list? Dig deeper.
If you want to really understand the assignment, you need to be willing to dig deeper than you ever have before with each assignment. When you do this, you begin to not only understand the assignment, but also how the assignment makes you a better person.
Contrary to popular belief, the things that you’re assigned aren’t just designed to teach you something; they’re designed to help you learn about yourself, the things you like/dislike, and what you need to do to get to the next level.
Even if you don’t get the greatest grade after working so hard on something, don’t give up. Be relentless. Have an attitude that gives you the best possible opportunity to be successful.
One way to do this is to have a bad short-term memory. If you get a bad grade, put it behind you and focus on the next thing. The only thing a bad grade is going to do for you if you dwell on it is lower your self-esteem. If your professor sees that you’re working hard and improving with each assignment, they might be inclined to grade you on the effort and hard work that you’re putting into your classwork.
If there are supplemental opportunities to learn, go to them. Give yourself the ample opportunity to make it to Dean’s List.
Image: Dan Foy