While Welcome Week is all fun and games, full of laid back introductions and activities, it will soon be time for classes to begin. In order to make the grade, students must be dedicated and put in hard work. Here are several strategies for success at Trinity.

In the classroom:

Be prepared. One of the most unique and exciting things about Trinity is the small class sizes. Smaller classes allow for more participation and interaction between students and professors, which arguably leads students to develop a deeper understanding of the course material. Take advantage of this benefit of a Trinity education by coming to class prepared to discuss outside readings or homework.

Be participatory. There is nothing more awkward than when a professor asks a question and is answered by twenty seconds of silence. Speak up. Even if your answer is wrong, your professor can correct you and clear up whatever you may not fully understand and, they appreciate when you participate.

Be provocative. No two Trinity students are exactly alike. That makes the university dynamic and diverse. You will disagree with your classmates and they will disagree with you. Introducing new points of view can enrich class discussions and helps address the subject with a well rounded perspective. Don’t be afraid to voice an unpopular opinion in an appropriate discussion.

At home:

Be a planner and prioritize. One of the biggest responsibilities college students are introduced to during their first semester is time management. At home you probably had someone to tell you to go to bed, be home by a certain curfew or spend time working on school work. At school, you are in charge of yourself. With this great freedom comes great responsibility. Make sure you plan ahead and allot time for studying. There will always be another party, games can be recorded on TV and friends can hang out at another time, but tests and due dates don’t change. Know what is due when, make time to work on it and plan the rest of your schedule around it.

Be productive. Just because your textbook is open during your Netflix marathon, it does not mean you were multi-tasking. Checking Facebook every five minutes will only make your study time drag on, and group discussions about weekend plans are not study groups. Remove distractions while you are working. Not only will you be able to focus and actually learn, but you will be more efficient with your time and be able to get your work finished faster. Figure out where you are most able to focus—your room, the library, a coffee shop, a study room—and go there. Take periodic breaks to re-energize as well.

Be practical. Odds are that a student who prepared in advance for a test will do better than one who crammed the night before, and a paper that has been reviewed and revised will get a better grade than one that was just thrown together.

Be realistic about the amount of effort that it will take to get the grade you want on a particular assignment.

Be proud. Studying at Trinity is an honor! Take pride in the work you submit.