So, you're in college. It's a whole new world, but without good study habits, you won't get very far!
Many college students are shocked to realize their old studying habits don't cut it anymore. Don't be that freshman.
If you want to excel in your studies without sacrificing all the fun, check out some tried and tested tips on how to develop good study habits in college.
1. Organize Your Time
So many things to do, so little time. College freshmen
are often flooded with opportunities for quick fun. But, regardless of parties and other extracurricular activities, you need to find a regular time to study every day.
By studying at the same time every day, you will become accustomed to absorbing more info when you focus. Carefully plan your schedule every week to make sure you have free time to study. An hour or two is usually all you need to get ahead, so plan accordingly!
You can study in the evenings before going out, or during hour-long gaps between classes. You may also want to try morning studying if you're an early bird.
2. Remove Distractions
Sometimes you just sit there, but the pages don't seem to move at all. Distractions will steal your time
and lead you to procrastination. You won't even really enjoy the stuff that keeps you from studying if your mind is divided between studying and playing.
So, study away from your iPod, tablet and smartphone, or install apps that help you by blocking social media while you study. Keep in mind that these activities can also be distractions!
You should also keep books, toys and sports equipment away from your studying space. One notable exception is your iPod or mp3 player. You can use this with your headphones to help you focus in noisy places.
3. Create Your Study Space
It's important to find your own study space in your dorm, your campus library or some other quiet place. This is where you'll do most of your studying, so this place needs to be quiet and relaxing.
By going to your studying space every day, you will get accustomed to studying more and more. Sometimes your own desk is the best choice, as long as your roommate is reasonable.
4. Get Everything You Need
Before studying, make sure you have everything you need on your study desk. Stock up in pens, notebooks, and pencils, so you can study uninterrupted. Your study supplies are your most important asset when it comes to efficient studying.
By keeping your book bag well stocked, you will develop efficient habits and avoid borrowing stuff from your colleagues.
5. Set Realistic Goals
Sure, you can cram for ten hours if you want to, but it's impossible to stuff a week's worth of studying in an evening.
Instead of trying to cut corners, set realistic goals
for your daily studying. Set goals for each session that will gradually get you to complete the entire curriculum. Trying to brute-force your studies with overworking won't cut it.
If you study blindly or try to get ahead of your classes, you may just end up wasting time. And we know how precious college time is. When studying a particular subject, focus on one type of problem at a time. This will help you isolate important bits of knowledge and attack them head-on.
6. Establish a Method
There must always be a method to your madness. Make a habit out of taking notes during classes. Studying without notes will fill your head with stuff you could have just noted down. Your memory is an important resource. Use it wisely!
During the semester, keep going back to your syllabus to make sure you're on the right track. You will need your syllabus if you ever feel like falling behind in your classes.
Nobody has to study alone. Consider joining a study group. This is a great way to keep yourself accountable for your studying, while also making a few friends along the way. It's important to find the right peers early on. If you study with friends, you will be more efficient and actually enjoy the whole process.
7. Experiment and Improve
Nobody's born perfect. When it comes to studying in college, you have to experiment to unlock your full potential. Try different studying methods in different study spaces to find what works for you.
At the beginning of your first semester, you might feel lost and disoriented. The cure for this is experimentation. Try different things to figure out how you can be productive.
8. Don't Forget to Take Breaks
Finally, don't forget to look after yourself. Between classes and studying, you might feel frustrated, edgy, or just exhausted.
Take breaks, relax and recharge your batteries to keep on going. Studying in college is a marathon and not a sprint. You need to keep on performing day after day, so take it easy from time to time.
Make sure you schedule regular breaks during study time, especially when you're studying for exams. Your smartphone's timer is your friend, but don't be tempted to waste time on social media unless you're on your scheduled break.
Always study with a growth mindset. You are doing this to get better and improve your life. Don't lose sight of your goal. Studying may sometimes feel like a chore, but it's a very small sacrifice for the returns you'll enjoy later on in life.
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