Going to college is hard. Sometimes we get so involved, stressed, or are even just so tired that it is hard to be able to fully focus on our studies to make the grades we should be getting. Use these five tips to be able to help you get that perfect GPA that you have always wanted.

Manage your time wisely

This one sounds a lot easier than it actually is. I know that I have, more than once, overestimated how much time I actually had or how much time it would take to complete an assignment. However, this is one of the most important things to do when trying to get a good GPA. When managing your time, make sure that you are able to do everything you have committed yourself to. Try not to take on too many things at once. I know it’s tempting to try and join 6 different clubs or organizations your freshman year to meet new people, but sometimes if you take on too much it can have an impact on your grades because you won’t have enough time to study. Try to set specific times that you will work on specific things. Make a schedule of it. In doing this, you get yourself into a routine. Once you get used to it, you will be able to decide if you have enough time to commit to more things.

Get a planner and use it

This is one that I absolutely cannot stress enough. I often refer to my planner as my Bible.  Wthout it, I wouldn’t be able to remember things like deadlines, due dates, test dates, essay dates, and so forth. I’ve even scheduled time for me to do nothing so I don’t forget to have a little time for myself and to relax a little bit. When you first get your planner, sit down and take every single syllabus you have and immediately put down all due dates, exam dates, essay dates, and anything else you might need to do for a class. It’s something that won’t take very long but it will help to ensure that you never miss an assignment and miss out on points for a class.

Prioritize every class and assignment

Prioritizing things is something that I notice people, including myself, often forget to do, but it is still incredibly important. It is so easy to take all the assignments you have to do and then do the easiest one first when you should have been working on the harder one that will take longer. When you have a bunch of assignments due in one week all in different classes, take time to jot them all down and decide on which ones will take longer, which ones are in classes that you are struggling in and need to work harder in to get more points, and which ones you think will be the hardest. Then, rank them and decide which ones you think are a number one priority and which ones can hold off for a day or two. In doing this, you will be able to get your work done more effectively. You will also be able to make sure that it is all quality work as well, so you will be able to get the best grade that you can.

Make friends in your classes or in your school of study

This is also one of the best things to do to not only help you get good grades but to also help meet new people! By making friends in your classes, it automatically gives you the option to text them and ask them if you need help with an assignment or if you miss a class and need them to send you the notes. In addition to that, it also gives you the possibility to create a study group for the class. You can work together to try and understand the material more and get together to study for a big test or final you have coming up. Try to make it a goal in every single class to get a phone number or a contact email from at least one person by the end of the first week of class. Then, you are able to get to know someone new and have help all throughout the semester!

Take care of yourself

This is also one of the most important, if not the most important, one on this list. If you aren’t taking care of yourself,  you won’t be able to get as much done as you normally would. Try to eat healthy, get enough sleep, exercise, and take time for yourself. If you had a bad day, try to take some time to do something that will make it feel better. Get some coffee with a friend you’ve been meaning to catch up with, go on a run, read a book, or watch an episode of New Girl with a giant bowl of cookie dough ice cream to relax. Whatever you need to do to give yourself some self-love, do it. You won’t be able to get the best grades that you can if you aren’t feeling your 100% best. Taking care of yourself and making sure that you are happy, healthy, and not exhausted will help to make sure that you are able to achieve your best GPA that you can.

Elise is a Political Science student at Arizona State with dreams to go to law school and be the next Elle Woods. You can find her watching Fox News, online shopping, or drinking an absurd amount coffee while talking about conservative values and Ronald Reagan.