Whether a student is just starting his or her college career or preparing to graduate with only one semester left, disciplined steps can be taken to complete a semester successfully.
Criswell freshmen and psychology major Auna Harrison is already getting the hang of her classes and has developed strategies to help her be successful during spring 2021.
“What works best for me is a schedule,” Harrison said. “I have to follow that, or I fall behind easily. So, having scheduled periods where I’m taking time to study for certain classes during my day, rather than coming to class unprepared, that really helps me. Otherwise, I find myself not understanding the curriculum as easily and having a hard time catching on to other concepts that are mentioned.”
Criswell student Juan Chavez is studying theology and psychology. As a non-traditional student, he’s maneuvering a complicated schedule that pushes him to be more disciplined.
“There’s a level of commitment that I’m having to adjust to, and I’m having to retrain myself. When you’re at home, you have to set time for school at home,” Chavez said.
Students can use printed daily and monthly planners or track their assignments through their smartphone using schedule keeping apps. Some students also use tablets to take notes, while some choose the traditional pen and paper approach. Students can set up a place and time to do a substantial amount of studying, creating a clean space at a desk or other spot is comfortable for studying hours.
Criswell students have also been encouraged both in chapel and by their professors to not forget about their personal time with the Lord.
“If I’m not actively pursuing Christ day-to-day, I find myself falling short in every other area. And even when I am pursuing Christ, I’m imperfect. I’m going to fall short. But, when I’m not fixing my eyes on Christ, and I start thinking about more materialistic things, things that are not going to last, I become very unmotivated,” Harrison said.
Chavez experienced many failures in life, and that challenged him to serve God. Once he came to know Jesus Christ, it sparked a desire to learn more and serve Him in ministry.
“Now, it’s a different point in my life. I’m more committed to my relationship with God. My faith is at a level it never was before. My attitude is, ‘God, you brought me here, I’m going to trust you. This is where you led me, and I’m not going to doubt you,’” Chavez said.
Chavez and Harrison also agreed that paying attention in class, getting tutored, asking questions, taking good notes, prioritizing self-care, and connecting with family, friends, and the community makes a difference in creating a successful semester.