Cal Newport – How to Win at College

Main Ideas

  • Avoid bad courses at all costs
  • Start long term projects the same day they are assigned
  • Keep room organized, make bed, clean clothes etc
  • apply to lots (at least 10) scholarships + awards per year
  • befriend professors and adviser
  • become a club president
  • learn when to say no
  • always be working on a grand project – ex business, programming, etc
  • ask a question in every lecture
  • get into research asap
  • study in 50 min chunks
  • plan free time
  • dress nicely – look good, feel good
  • decorate room to build morale
  • study for exams/tests a little per day two weeks in advance
  • write outside of classes for the joy of writing
  • find an escape from student life
  • study in solitude
  • dont study in the dorm
  • attend guest lectures
  • exercise 5 days/week
  • find a relevant job
  • dont write papers in one day
  • consistently sleep the right amount
  • seek out other high achievers
  • listen more than you talk
  • work progress journal to stop procrastination
  • seek out fun
  • always write your best
  • maximize summers
  • maximize time between classes
  • write op eds
  • find a study space which you know will always be open
  • start fast, end slow instead of the other way around