How to Get Better Grades & Have More Fun!

For those of you reading this title and rolling your eyes, get ready to have your mind blown. Seriously. I attended an eye-opening session at Century High School (woo Carroll!) this past December with this very title, “Get Better Grades & Have More Fun!”. The session was given by our one and only Dr. Mark Marten, a Cellular Engineering & Systems Biology professor at UMBC, (yeah, he’s pretty hardcore), and it highlights the secret to being academically successful with less stress. Get ready to take notes …

  1. Begin with the end in mind. This involves creating an achievable gpa goal, this does not always mean 4.0 (sorry parents), and monitoring your progress.
  2. Time management is key. Treat college like an 8 to 5 job. And yes, that does mean actually getting up early. If you do this, you won’t find yourself cramming during the weekends, which means more time to hang out with your buddies.
  3. Active student is a learner, an inactive student is a dud. Sit in the front row, attend all of your classes and ask many, many questions. The more you get involved in your education, the more you will gain from the class.
  4. Relate to your professors. They are people too! Remember in elementary school, that first time you saw your teacher at the grocery store? I’ll be honest, it’s weird at first. But, once you get to know them, you gain a friend and resource for your professional development.
  5. Finally, be a “well rounded square.” Basically, take care of all your needs equally.


So you may be reading this and thinking, “Really, Jaime? This seems too easy.” Well, you’re right, it is easy, but you wouldn’t believe how many students avoid following these 5 easy steps.

Take it from an avid procrastinator, Dr. Marten’s way is the way to go 🙂