Four proven ways to get on top of your game in College

You should expect quality learning from the investment you make in a college education. You're spending your hard earned money and devoting a great deal of your life to learn and get trained, yet so many of us feel ashamed to speak up when we are struggling.

When it comes to classes, not understanding for long periods of time suggest a need for action. Only you can take control of your learning and the outcome, because only you can speak about your needs. 

Start by establishing some clear connections with your teachers who can support you in getting the most out of your education regardless of the circumstances. Teachers may not be able to change their teaching style to cater to every student, but they can work with you to find alternatives. 

If you want to improve your learning and be on top of your game, here are four tips to help you get started:

1.  Assess what you're getting out of each class frequently 

After every class ask yourself about the materials you're working with and whether it's working for you or not. Determine what are things the teacher did not do that could have improved your understanding of the material. What could you have done differently before, during, and after class?

2.  In class ask clarifying questions

Remember the only dumb question is the one not asked. Feel comfortable with raising your hand during class and ask your teacher to repeat a statement or to clarify a concept. You have to realize that if you're confused, other students are also.

3.  Find out the teacher's office hours and use them

Office hours are usually a part of the teacher's schedule so make note of them at the beginning of each new class in the semester.  Many teachers will also share their college email with you so they can be used to ask clarifying questions also when you're studying.

4.  Start a study group

You are rarely alone. Get the email of some like-minded and serious students in your class and ask if any of them are interested in working on homework, reviewing class materials or studying for exams together.  Many times students need help with different areas of the class, so it's an ideal way for everyone to help each other.  Regardless, the group encouragement will get you much farther and everyone will appreciate it.

It's all about being proactive and getting the most out of your education.  Ready or not, go for it. The possibilities are well worth the risk.  Remember it's your career that you're preparing for and that's why you’re in college.