Being in an American college is a lot more than classes, it is about the college experience. It is about going to the football and basketball games, it is about attending various cultural events, it is about trying out different restaurants and cafes around campus, and it is about finding your “family away from home”.
However, the primary reason for coming to a United States university is education. And so it is important to do well in your classes, especially if your scholarship has certain requirements! Here are some tricks that I use to stay on top of my classes:
As easy as it may sound, the workload of classes sneaks up on you before you know it, and so it is important to stay organized. Make sure you know all you assignments that are due in the coming week. Assign your homework to each day and drill that into your schedule. Everyone has 24 hours in a day, but by staying organized you can get more done in those 24 hours! Make the most of organization apps like Trello or Asana to organize your to-do list.
Use Campus Resources
UC provides tons of campus resources to help you with classes. And guess what? They are all free! At the Learning Commons, you have access to student tutors who have performed well in the classes that you are taking. And since they are students, they know exactly how you feel and what you go through in your classes.
Learning Commons provides services like Peer Tutoring, Academic Coaching, Learning Communities, the Math and Science Support Center, or MASS for short, and many more. Be sure to take advantage of all these resources here on campus!
Talk to Your Professors
I have found talking to your professors is one of the best ways to succeed in your class because who knows the course better than the person who made it? Always feel free to email your professors about any questions you have about the course or any homework.
One important thing that has always worked for me is attending office hours of my professors. By having that one on one interaction, you can get to know the professor better, and the professor can get to know you better. Discuss your goals for the semester with them, and tell them what you like about the class and where you struggle. Most professors of mine have always been warm and welcoming and are understanding towards the fact that being an international student brings its own challenges.
Take Time Off
Now this may sound unintuitive, but the only way to deal with the stress of the classes is to relax. There are always going to be homework due and there will always be that research paper that you have to write. So it is important that you regularly take time off and do what you enjoy. Find the activity that relaxes you and do it every week! And do not let it sink down in priority. A calm mind is the ultimate weapon against challenges, so relax and take a chill pill every once in a while!