Studying may not be the most exciting way to spend your time, but as a college student, it is something that must be done! Luckily, we have some tips that can make it a little easier.
- Go to class. Showing up is half the battle! Set an intention before each class to be present, to listen, and to participate. This time is for you, and it’s up to you to make the most of it.
- Take notes. Taking notes can help you retain information much more effectively than simply listening. Choose the method that suits you best, whether it be taking notes on a laptop or with a pen, but remember that laptops bring distractions, so try not to login to Facebook at the same time!
- Time Management. Did you ever hear one of your high school teachers say “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail?”. Might be a bit harsh, but there is some truth to it. Plan ahead to establish reasonable expectations for your study schedule, so that you can avoid cramming right before a test.
- Flash cards. Good old-fashioned flash cards are a great way to study. The very act of creating them by writing out the questions and answers helps you learn. This is also a great way to study in a group setting, where you can test each other and learn together. Answering questions is a great way to be sure that you are actually understanding information versus just memorizing it.
- Take away distractions. Whether that be turning off your phone, the TV, or using a social media blocker on your laptop, try to focus on what you are doing. Establish a reasonable time frame in which to really concentrate, and an appropriate amount of time in which to take a break! Which leads us to our next tip …
- Take breaks. Nobody can concentrate for continuous hours on end, we all need to take breaks. Then you can come back to your studies feeling ready and refreshed!
- Sleep. Studies have shown that sleep, learning and memory are all related. How well-rested you are can also affect your mood and motivation, and if you are tired and unmotivated, your chances of getting a good study session in are limited.
The bottom line: Besides sleep, which everyone needs, what it all comes down to is what works for YOU. There are a lot of great tips that you can apply to your studying strategy, but ultimately you have to tailor these methods to you. Whether that means studying alone with no distractions, in a group with plenty of interaction, taking notes on a laptop or taking notes with a pen, everyone is different!