Six tips on how to survive the college weed out class

Six tips on how to survive the college weed out class



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After surviving a semester of the hardest, most taxing class I have ever taken, I can’t believe I made it! In hopes that it can help someone get through a difficult class, I have dedicated this post to six tips on how to survive the college weed out class.

Pace yourself:

Believe me when I say don’t do 100 practice quizzes in one night.

This class is designed to test your endurance. The secret to avoiding burnout is pacing yourself. Allowing yourself time to absorb the information lets you manage the stress of the course while learning the information. While trying to work ahead can be tempting (especially if the course is one that piles on a lot of work) it is important to manage working hard with living your life. There is a silver line between being a hard worker and letting a hard class consume your life. So, to avoid the latter, try setting time aside each day to study in order to maintain consistent studying instead of non-stop cramming. This will also help you maintain balance and allow you to continue dedicating yourself to your other classes and involvements during the year. You will thank yourself for the pace when the semester comes to an end.


Pay attention to office hour times:

Asking specific question leads to deeper understanding overall.

Paying attention to small details and asking follow up questions during office hours are great ways to learn the information. Being able to get answers to specific questions (that you don’t want to take up class time asking) can allow you to clear up any misunderstanding or holes you have while learning the material. While it benefits the entire class to ask general questions during your class time, using office hours to answer detailed questions, discuss projects and look over papers can be extremely helpful. I also found it beneficial to use office hours to give the teacher feedback and receive feedback about my performance in the class. Going to office hours and taking extra initiative to do well in class pays off in the end.


Band together with others:

Remember to believe them when they tell you they believe in you.

Good friends and a supportive family really can get you through challenging times. Looking back, I honestly don’t know what I would’ve done without having such an amazing support system. From talking about questions and issues with friends over lunch to three-way calls with close friends from home, it was inspiring to hear how much others believed in me when I was struggling. During this class, many students were tested to the brink of their limits, however, by forming a strong support system with others in the class and being there to help someone when they felt down, we were able to keep moving forward.


Allow yourself to complain a little:

It’s hard and you’re allowed to call it such.

Whether it is a shoulder to cry on or someone to rant with, having others to complain with and who motivate you to not give up can help you release negative energy and move forward. Whether your complaining is just talking about different issues together or coming up with a plan to flee to another country and start a business selling pineapples :), ultimately, having someone who listens when you are struggling and taking time to listen to other in return can get you all through. This can help you feel less alone and give you the strength to take on the class’s difficulties.

This said it’s important to make sure you use these complaining session to release negative emotions in order to move forward. Being able to turn around and move on afterward will help you balance the stress with getting your work done.


Set up productive study sessions

Make sure you know where they are located so you don’t get stuck in the wrong place.

One way a group of students and I helped one another out during the class was forming study groups and working through the material together. I highly recommend finding friends you work well with and tackling the challenging information together. This helps you learn new ways of thinking about the information and pushes you to teach the material in different ways. This can also be extremely helpful as you prepare for exams. With so much information to review, it can help to have a study buddy to make the process better and help you make sure you cover everything.


Keep in mind that this is the worst not the normal:

Should I just drop out? Maybe I’m not good enough? Will I make it through the semester? Why?

Daydreaming about dropping out and fearing the semester will never end can be a very real feeling when in weed-out classes. Throughout the semester, I had very real conversations with others about the fear of having to drop out or not making it through the class. Through these discussions we had to decide why we had chosen to major in journalism and if our passion outweighed what we were suffering through in the course. Despite this, (the important thing to remember is) we made it!

While there were days when simply putting one foot in front of the other was a challenge, remember that this class was a class designed to push us to the extreme was important. Remembering that our current situation was not the norm and keeping in mind why we loved journalism as a whole was one way of maintaining sanity.


Closing message:

I made it, we made it and you will too.

So, thank you to everyone who helped me get through this class! I appreciate all your support and wish the best of luck to others going through courses like this one.

Focusing on what you are learning and remembering why you chose your path is important. I hope these six tips for how to survive the college weed out class can help you get through the semester. Keep believing in yourself and remember that all of us that have been through it believe in you too.

For more articles to help you through a challenging semester, check out my article on Five steps to boost productivity and my six study tips for surviving finals week.


Photo Credit: Sean Kong

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  1. College was a long time ago for me, but I can remember the feeling of overwhelm when taking certain weed out courses. The size of the class, the amount of work to plow through, wow! I do think having a few study buddies you trust to share info and support is very helpful during such times. Life is full of hard challenges and it is better to face them and learn to deal with them despite your anxiety and fears. It will make you a stronger individual.

  2. So many useful tips here! I was college educated in England, and it’s all very different here… I’m trying to learn as much as I can so that I’m able to help my children. Thanks for all the helpful info!

    1. Sarah says:

      So glad you enjoyed it and it was helpful!

  3. […] more advice that can help you through college, check out six tips on how to survive the college weed out class and transitioning from a quantity to quality […]

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