Tips for an Undergrad Student

The final installment (maybe) of our "Tips for a ________" series was written by Sara Pogue.  She is a Senior at TIU and works in the library.  Sara also happens to be a talented blogger - enjoy!!!


1. Prioritize

We are confronted by many decisions each day.  Chapel or sleep?  Taco Bell run or World Civ study group?  Pinterest or exercise? When you know what you value, decisions usually become much clearer. Sit down and plan out your priorities. Decide what things are most important in your life and what things are not as important. Here are some questions to ask yourself as you plan out your priorities:  Is this an investment in my future? Does this reflect my values as a Christ follower? Is this realistic? Is this something that I enjoy? Is this something I feel obligated to do? These questions are just a start but they may help you decipher between things that should be high on your priority list and things that should fall at the end of the list.

 2. Know When to Say No

There are so many different things to be involved in during college, and often it is hard to know what to say “no” to. This is especially difficult when there are so many good things to say yes to.  Prioritizing (#1) can help you know what types of things to say no to. Avoid over committing by accepting that it is okay to say no. Once this is established, saying no becomes much easier.

 3. Spend Time with God

No matter what stage of faith you are currently in, spending time with God can be beneficial. Chiseling out time each day to spend with the Lord is one of the most powerful ways to grow in your spiritual walk. Find time to spend in the Word and in prayer, even if it means getting up ten minutes early. Think of how different your outlook will be when you start your day in the Word!

4. Invest in Friendships that Build You Up

One of the best parts of college is the friendships that are made. One way to make these friendships grow is to invest in them. Investments of time, vulnerability, and honesty can lead to healthy growth in a friendship. Choosing who to invest in is sometimes difficult, but in can be easier when you choose friends who build you up, encourage you in your walk with Christ, and keep you focused on the things that are important.

5. Sleep

I know sleep and college do not usually mix, and let’s be honest; everything is more fun at 2 am, but one of the best discoveries I made in my college career was that sleep works!  During my junior year I finally stopped fighting with myself and began going to sleep when I felt tired. I was shocked how drastically my life changed. My grades improved, I no longer felt drowsy in class, and I stayed much healthier. Getting eight hours of sleep can make the world of difference in your life, and that means going to sleep at midnight and waking up at eight! Realistic? Absolutely!

6. Find Your Prime Homework Time

Do you stay up all night trying to read your Psychology book, only to discover the next morning you can’t remember a thing? I know I’ve been there. If you know you are not efficient at night, try waking up early and curling up with your Psychology book and a cup of coffee. Or head to the library between your nine o’clock class and chapel. Keep trying different times of the day until you find the time that works best for you! Once you find your prime homework time, you may find that you spend less time on homework in general because you have found your most efficient time to accomplish your homework.

7. Use the Resources Offered

Trinity has a wealth of beneficial resources, take advantage of them! Here are just a few:

The Library: The library is full of resources that can make your life easier. Besides our extensive collection of books, we also have journals, DVD’s, Blue-rays, and coffee. In addition, we have enthusiastic staff that would love to answer your questions and assist you with any of your library needs.

Professors: Trinity has a student-faculty ratio of 14:1. Take advantage of this ratio and spend time getting to know a professor. Not only might this be an opportunity to meet different types of people, these relationships may help prepare you for your future in the workforce or graduate school.

Footnotes Tutoring:  Located in Johnson Hall, Footnotes is a great place to receive help with homework, attend a study skills workshop, or have someone edit your research paper.

Counseling Center: The Counseling Center is a great resource for college students.  They hold many group workshops tailored specifically to college students, while also providing one-on-one counseling sessions from trained professionals.

Aldeen Fitness Center: Stop by the new Aldeen Fitness Center and check out the brand new equipment! This new facility is a wonderful place to workout by yourself or in a group. The brand new weight machines, changing rooms, televisions, and sound system are sure to make your workout experience top notch.  (Also, it’s free!!)

8. Have Fun!

Don’t forget to have fun! Part of living a balanced life is spending time enjoying life! So play broomball, plan a Clue party, watch all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls, organize an outreach event, build a fort, try a new recipe, or read a book! Enjoy life!

What has helped you do undergrad well?

Trackback URL for this post:

Good points and great advice!

Good points and great advice! Something that I failed to do in college, and often in grad school, is once you find these times (like spending time with God and your peak performance HW hours) protect them! This means really figuring out point number 2 and how that fits and protects your time. Your friends will respect your boundaries, even if they pick on you about them.

Sleep is often the first

Sleep is often the first thing to go with college students, and I have found that Sleep really needs to be placed in a non-negotiable category. So much of what we do with our days will be effected by how much sleep we get. I think point #6 is great and something that can be so easily overlooked/undetected. Good stuff!


I agree, I had never really thought of #6 before, but as I reflect on my homework habits I'm definitely best at reading and retaining information in the morning hours.

As far as #8, I'm not sure about watching the Gilmore Girls, but building a fort sounds amazing!  Really good post Sara!



This is great wisdom, Sara! I especially like 4, 5, and 6!