They don’t tell you much about succeeding in college when you suffer from selective participation syndrome. It’s the all too familiar, I’ll-do-it-when-I-feel-like-it, let-me-take-a-quick-nap-before-I-start disorder. If your parents refer to you as ‘lazy’ or your teachers describe you as a ‘procrastinator,’ we’re talking about you! The good news about college is you get to create your own schedule, the not so good news is homework is still a thing here. So pull up a chair, because we’re gonna set you up to win at college when all you wanna do is chill in the quad with your squad, but your paper on Plato’s Allegory of the Cave is due the next day.
Preparation is Key—the syllabus is your golden ticket to an A in any class. Tack your syllabus to your wall. Enter key dates such as big projects, quizzes and assignment due dates in your phone’s calendar with a week’s reminder. Bonus tip: remember which assignments carry more weight towards your final grade and prioritize accordingly.
Schmooze you’re Way to Success—in the beginning of the semester, introduce yourself to your professors. Be straight up about your expectations and feelings about the class. Simply say ‘hey professor Santiago, I’m really excited about taking this class –even if it’s a general education requirement—but I’m equally nervous about it. Can you give me some tips on how to succeed and get an A?’ Bonus tip: visit your professor during office hours. Even if it’s just to say hi, talk to them. Tell them you’re prepping for an upcoming assignment or even ask them about their day. They’re humans too. The point is to build a rapport so you won’t become another faceless student who flunked science in the modern world.
Start your Assignments Early–it seems unrealistic with your condition, but dig this: If you start your assignment as soon as it’s given to you, you’ll complete your assignment before it’s due or maybe just in time. Dedicate at least 30 minutes a day but no more than an hour in one sitting on each assignment. It’ll make your assignments less daunting and there’s more time to do what you please when you really don’t feel like it. Bonus tip: join a study group to keep you accountable for your assignments. Or even, ask your TA (teacher’s assistant) for help.
Balance your Selectivity–for every 30 minutes you spend not-really-feeling-like-it, dedicate one hour doing that thing you weren’t really feeling.
The painful truth about college is no one is going to beg you to do your work. It doesn’t matter if you’re paying out of pocket or taking out loans or if you have a sweet scholarship, you have to do the work to be successful. Have fun, but certainly prepare for those times when your selective participation syndrome starts to flare up.
‘The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.’ Even procrastinators with selective participation syndrome.