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Chapter 10 Strategies for Academic Success

By the time you're reading this, you've probably been at Puget Sound long enough to realize that college looked easier on paper than it has turned out to be. Taking only four classes at a time and only being in class twelve hours a week sounded great, but it sounded great because seeing college on paper didn't show you how much work you'd have to do outside of class, how many other activities you'd want to get involved in, and how much less structured your life would be than it was in high school. This freedom and independence is one of the things that makes college such an awesome experience and such a great chance to grow as a person, but it also takes some adapting to, and most graduating seniors could tell you a story off the top of their heads about how they didn't manage their time, got disorganized, or said something inappropriate to a professor or another student in the midst of some unforeseen college calamity.

Sometimes, it will feel like your life is falling apart around you. We don't know a single college student who hasn't had moments that were incredibly hard, emotionally as much as intellectually, in the course of their time at Puget Sound. Maybe assignments are late. Maybe a friend or family member has needed your help with life-stuff. Maybe your own personal health, mental or physical, is making school difficult. Maybe it's just been raining and grey outside for a week straight and you're tired of being cold and wet every time you leave your room. College is exciting in new, unique ways, but it's also difficult in new, unique ways. New challenges require new approaches, and though we can't say how to fix everything, chapter provides baseline suggestions for how to manage your time, stay organized, and talk to professors, especially when life gets hard.