Texas Tech University

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College can be an intense four years, full of rewarding experiences that you will look back on and treasure. The key is to maximize your education while you are here, and finding the right balance between work and play.

A recent study revealed that only 60 percent of students end up graduating from a public university. In other words, you want to get the most out of your college education, and make sure that the money that you (or your parents) spend is not a waste.

Here are some tips on maximizing your education:

Keep up your GPA. Many companies still use the GPA as an easy way to manage applicants. If you are intending on graduate school, a string of Cs can disqualify you.

A great professor can make the dryest subject interesting....

Seek out the best professors, and learn from them. A great professor can make the dryest subject interesting – and get you to care about it. Go and talk to a professor ahead of taking a course, to find out more about it.

The most valuable courses you'll take will probably include: writing, public speaking, basic computer applications such as spreadsheets, word processing and database, critical thinking. What is critical thinking? It's about finding solutions to problems, and thinking outside the box.

Learn both inside and outside the classroom. Factor in other educational experiences, such as Study Abroad and Internships. Studying abroad – for example, learning about Italian Renaissance art in Florence – can get you excited about a subject that no distanced course can. Internships can offer real-world experience in a professional field, and may even help you land a job before graduating.

Find out about the many learning resources available on campus. Here are just a few of them: the TTU Museum; the TTU Library; the Southwest Collection; the Humanities Center; the AP/RC Research Collection; the Presidential Lecture and Performance Series.

Do an independent study with a professor. It's a great way to customize your education.

Go to class. Find ways of enjoying class – think of learning as something that can directly affect you as a person, and not some abstract exercise you have to endure to get a grade. Relate class material to your own life. The best students are the ones who have a desire to learn.

Participate.... Don't be afraid to offer your opinion.

Participate in class. Don't be afraid to offer your opinion. But if you're someone who likes to talk, do the opposite – listen. If a course doesn't allow for student feedback, chances are, it's not a good one.

Be proactive about learning. Go to office hours. Seek out help if you need it. Bother your teaching assistants.

Recognize the type of learner you are (visual, auditory). Take written notes in class (it will help you remember). In our current age of social media, concentrating on coursework can be a challenge: learn how to put away your cellphone. Need more help with learning? Try the TTU Learning Center.

You can find more college advice here , here and here.

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