Why waste four years of an awesome social scene biting your fingernails over academic probation? In between juggling friends, lecture notes, beer, exams, and boys, watch out for these GPA pitfalls:
1) The Internet: Essential to keeping up with friends from home (and that kid you haven’t seen since pre-kindergarden), essential to keeping up with world news (gawker.com, anyone?), and very, very excellent at wasting your time (during class, during your chem final cramming session, at four am in the morning when you just have to broadcast your insomnia on Twitter…). Leave your laptop in your dorm room when you attend lectures if you want to save your grades. If you must bring it to take notes, turn off the wireless. And if you really don’t trust yourself, install a self-control application to help set a daily time limit on time-wasting websites.
2) Ass-crack of dawn classes. Try as you might to schedule classes around your personal body rhythms (the preferred way to avoid this), there comes a time in every girl’s college career when she realizes that the only available section of a mandatory course meets early in the morning. Combat the potential damage to your batting average by buying a new alarm clock, an extra cup of coffee, rewarding yourself for waking up with five minutes on your favorite blog before you dash off to class, or finding a classmate on your hallway to share in your pain….and notes, if one of you ever oversleeps.
3) Ovulation. For all intents and purposes: that time of the month when you really need to get some. Do not go out to a bar and accept drinks from a cute stranger/stick your tongue down his throat if it’s Tuesday night you know you should be working on the key slides for your history power-point presentation. Save your grades, buy a vibrator. You’ll also cut out the make-up application time, the cab fare, the hangover, and the heartbreak.
4) Poor time management. Do not: begin a physics problem set two hours before the deadline; assume that you don’t need sleep to start, finish, and edit your English paper; double-book your best friend’s birthday dinner and your art history study session; forget to crack your sociology textbook until finals season rolls around; let your period catch you off-guard before your swim test. Avoid these things with: an online calendar, a cute planner, a that-time-of-the-month reminder.
5) “Interesting” (and insanely difficult) electives. You’ve always wanted to know how to fix a computer. Or understand evolutionary anthropology. Only the computer science teacher lost you on the syllabus and that anthro course requires you to read two books per week and write two thousand words of textual analysis. Yes, college is a time to explore new things, but just prepare yourself for an inevitable dip in the GPA when you’re up until two in the morning working on this “elective” and ignoring the work of your more important courses. You should definitely still take it (that’s what college is for, right?), just be forewarned…