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College Study Tips

College is a whole different world and it took me a whole year to finally understand how to survive it. Freshman year I tried out so many different study techniques; some failed and some proved to be successful. 

Tip 1 Study With Friends

There is a right and a wrong way to study with friends and it took me a while to do it the right way. Make sure to stay focused when studying, it is easy to get off track. It helps to stay focus by preparing a few questions on the topics that you don’t understand. Make a list of questions you have as you study by yourself, so you can be prepared to ask your friends for help. It not only helps you but it helps your friends. I found that I learned the most by teaching others. As I teach others I realize how much I don’t know, so then I go back and study the topics I had trouble explaining. Just make sure your friends come with questions too.

Tip 2 Stay Focused

Technology is one of the biggest distractions when studying, especially when studying for a class you have no interest in. I suggest turning your phone on do not disturb. Reward yourself every half hour or hour with about 5 minutes of screen time to give yourself a break. One of my other biggest distractions is Netflix. Netflix is so enticing, I find myself watching New Girl instead of studying. I prevented this by making myself a specific schedule and give myself a certain time in the day to watch Netflix. I do not allow myself to watch it any other time unless I finished all of my work. I chose 8pm as my time to watch Netflix because then it gives me the rest of the night off to relax.

Tip 3 Switch Between Classes 

Freshmen year a professor advised my class to study for one class for about 30 minutes then switch to another for 30 more minutes. Keep switching back and forth and it should force your brain to recall the information you studied 30 minutes ago. I decided to try it out and I really liked the results. It was very draining to do every 30 minutes so I pushed it to every hour and it worked just as well. Just adjust it to what your brain needs.

Tip 4 Pay Attention in Class

Most lectures can be very boring and I find myself daydreaming half of the time. I didn’t realize that I should be putting in more effort than just showing up and listening to only what I thought was important. I quickly learned that everything your professor says is important. If they say something isn’t going to be on the exam, pay attention anyway because 9 times out of 10 it will be on the exam. I taught myself to push away any intruding thoughts during lecture and ignored the people that were talking to me. I started listening to every word the professor said and became impressed with how much easier it was to study and take exams. This tip sounds like such a silly little tip that everyone should know, but it was never stressed enough in college.

Tip 5 Read Then Take Notes

Do as the professor says and read before class. I suggest looking over rather than reading it in depth just so you have an idea of what is going on. When I do read for class I read and highlight and entire page then try and take notes on what I read without looking at the page. I found that this helps me understand more of what I read. When I used to take notes as I was reading I was just transferring the information from the book to my notes; the information never stuck in my brain. By forcing myself to recall what I read allows the information to stick.