Summer is almost over and it’s back to the classrooms.
Here are 10 tips to keep you sane this this semester:
9. Lose the fear.
If you don’t feel confident, fake it till you make it. People can tell if you seem vulnerable, and they will take advantage of it. Enter the room with confidence. Be fearless. Things are never as bad at they seem.
8. Rock your style.
Stop killing yourself to “fit in.” The people who make the rules of fitting in are often insecure themselves and create a culture of exclusion to make themselves look and feel more powerful than they are. Dress and accessorize however you’d like, and don’t apologize for it, ever.
7. Diffuse conflict wisely.
Where there are people, there is always the possibility of conflict. Get in the habit of fighting fire with water, instead of fire. Ignore petty remarks and subtle behaviors from others. When faced with a direct confrontation, always be the cooler, wittier head. Look for the path of least resistance and even surprise your antagonist by offering them something nice (candy bar) or otherwise being non-aggressive, especially when others are around. This will win you respect in the eyes of your teachers and classmates and keep your semester free of unnecessary drama.
6. Observe, observe, observe.
It never hurts to sit back and enjoy the view. Watch the people in your circle, before coming to a bunch of conclusions. See how they move, how they think and process things. Learn more about their habits and personality. Make note of people you may especially want to befriend and build relationships with.
5. Be natural.
No one likes a fake, and we can all usually spot on. Just be yourself and don’t listen to anyone who tells you otherwise. Your best self is the one you were born with. Fix minor issues, but don’t change who you are.
4. Listen, then speak.
Many of us have a tendency to speak too quickly without really listening to what the other person had to say. Slow down and try to listen more. Not just hear – actually listen. Take in what the other person is saying and ponder it before you answer.
3. Take notes differently.
Ok. Now for the nitty-gritty. We’re all used to taking notes by hand, but you miss so much when your head is down and not on the professor. Take points down by hand, and use your phone or tablet to record entire lectures. Go home and take more detailed notes from these recordings after class. Also, take pictures of PowerPoint slides and other material, so you can revisit them later. It really helps! (If there are any rules against these in your class, do disregard this advice).
2. Actively make connections.
Don’t be afraid to float among groups and meet new people. You will probably make friends that you are closer with than others, but it never hurts to enlarge your circle everyday. You never know who will come in handy later on, or who you will become handy to.
1. Ask questions.
People who ask questions are often seen as more curious and interested then others. Of course, that isn’t a hard and fast rule. You can ask too many questions, and you can ask too few. It’s better to ask well-timed, well thought out questions, then to ask too many and risk sounding annoying.
Good luck with your classes!