When you’re in college, you’re not just a student per se. You also become a friend to a roommate, a leader to your school organization and a responsible child to your parents. You’ll be wearing a lot of hats when you’re in college! And because of these roles, you have to make sure that you’re actually studying smarter, not harder. After all, getting good grades is one of the reasons why you’re in college in the first place. This is why you should practice good study habits the moment you enter college. Good study habits are important so you can keep up with your college classes and improve your grades in the long run. However, study habits are not learned naturally; they are actually taught. And if you’re interested to know how you can have good study habits, consider the tips below:
1.) Make a schedule and always stick to it: Time management is important when you’re in college. You’ll be living on your own, and you have to know how to balance between your academic and social requirements. Handling all of these can be overwhelming, but once you know how to come up with a schedule, things will come off easier. Determine your class schedule and set up times for studying. For subjects which are more challenging for you, set a schedule which will allow you to study these subjects more frequently. You can have Math during Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (if you’re not a math person) and English during Tuesdays and Thursdays.
2.) Take and review notes while in class: Lecture taking is vital when you’re in college. This can become your study material which you can use anytime, anywhere. When you’re sitting through a class, always take down notes. Sit in the front row so you can better hear your professor and ask questions when necessary. If you miss your classes, don’t be afraid to ask notes from your classmates. You should be able to catch up as soon as possible.
3.) Create an environment conducive for studying: Different college students will require different environments for studying. One might want a quiet place to study, while others might study better with music as their background. Make sure you’re able to study in an environment which is suitable for your preference. If you want to study in a quiet place, go to your library or use noise-canceling headphones if your dorm is too noisy. If you prefer to study with music, pop your headphones so you can’t disturb others who are studying as well.
4.) Eliminate lifestyle distractions: Sure, you might be in a library, but when your smartphone is on the table, studying can become a challenge. If you want to have good study habits, having the right environment isn’t enough; you should also have the willingness to eliminate everything that can distract you from studying. If you’re solely using books and your notes to study, leave your smartphone, tablet, and laptop in your dorm. You can’t possibly study well when you’re always checking the notifications of your social media accounts through your gadgets.
5.) Organize your class materials: Books will not be your only resource in college. You’ll be given a lot of handouts and other printed materials to supplement lessons. And while it can be tempting to stuff all of these in one bag (after all, these are all yours, right?), don’t do it. You’ll end up spending hours looking for notes you need when you’re about to study. Worse, if you can’t find what you’re looking for, you’ll choose not to study at all. The solution? Organize all of your class materials. You can use one binder for each subject or color code different topics. Use an organizing hack which is suitable for you so you can study efficiently and reduce clutter, too.
6.) Study regularly, don’t cram: College students tend to study their lessons only when there’s an exam coming up. Don’t make the same mistake. As much as possible, study your lessons every day while having breaks in between. If you’re planning to study for two hours every day, take a 10-minute break after an hour. This will relax your brain so you can grasp more information and improve your retention. Studying regularly also allows you to have a good night’s sleep – this is something which you can never get when you’re cramming. Cramming will require you to study until the wee hours of the morning without digesting any lesson at all.
7.) Exercise to release stress: There will be moments in college when you’ll be overwhelmed with the workload and the responsibilities you have to meet. If not released healthily, these can become the reasons why you’ll succumb to anxiety or depression. Make yourself mentally healthy by injecting exercise into your daily routine. If your school offers free use of the gym during weekends, make use of these facilities. If your schedule permits, you can even take an hour of jogging or walking around the dorm before or after your classes. Look for physical activities which are convenient to you so these can become your outlet to relieve yourself from stress. And no, your exercise routines don’t have to be expensive or rigorous. As long as you’re moving and you’re having fun, you’re good to go!
8.) Have at least eight hours of sleep: There’s a lot on your plate when you’re in college. But that doesn’t mean that you should regularly sacrifice sleep just to finish your tasks in time. Sleep is important as this is what keeps your mind sharp. If you study with a sleep-deprived brain, you’ll need more time so you can retain important information. This can be bad news for your study schedule.
9.) Make use of tutors and study groups: Regardless of how difficult you think a subject is, study groups are always there to help. Scout for these in your school and sign yourself up. Study groups are a fun way to study because you’re actually surrounded by college students who can relate to you. This is also an excellent avenue to expand your circle and meet new people! If you think you need more than just a study group, go ahead and hire a tutor. Their help can be very useful especially if you come across a topic which you can’t make heads or tails of. Their services might come with a price but hiring them is actually cost-efficient compared to working with a difficult topic on your own.
10.) Don’t get behind: College subjects are fast-paced. Today, your professor might have instructed you to read ten pages of your book and in the next day, another ten. If you get behind in reading the first ten, you’ll end up reading twenty pages before the test. Reading this much might compromise your retention and study schedule. Always try to stay on the same page as your professor. If you’re behind, catch up quick. Utilize time between classes or have a friend help you out. Don’t let a whole semester’s reading assignment require you to pull an all-nighter.
College Is A Balancing Act
The workload you’ll receive in college will never be the same compared when you were in high school or grade school. You’re expected to do more academically, and this still doesn’t include your responsibility as an adult – you’ll have to live independently and manage your finances without your parents’ supervision. Instead of being stressed out about studying, learn how to do it better and more efficiently with the use of good study habits. When these habits become innate in your system, you can easily understand what you’re studying and take care of other responsibilities without compromising anything along the way.
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