Study Habits Part 1: Being Proactive
Have you ever spent countless hours studying, yet in reality nothing was accomplished? Or have you ever felt totally prepared for an exam and then walked away from it feeling defeated? If so, this blog is for you! Studying with learning differences can be frustrating, challenging, and sometimes seemingly hopeless. But there is hope! The key is establishing strong study skills and habits to set yourself up for success. What may have earned you an A in high school may not earn you the same grade in college. It is important to be aware that college is a level up from high school, and you need to prepare for the higher course demands by forming some practical and useful study habits. Some of the tips I’m about to share with you may not only aid in your success in class, but also in managing stress and college life altogether. “Study Habits Part 1: Being Proactive” focuses on some general life habits to consider forming that can both directly and indirectly impact your overall health and your ability to retain information.
Get Organized– This can make or break you, especially as a college student. Learning and knowing how to organize your schedule, classes, extracurricular activities, and life is one of the best skills to success in college. Being organized and knowing what all you have to do and when things are due will keep you afloat mid-semester when everything seems to happen at once and classes are moving at full speed. If you feel like you need helping getting organized, most campuses offer help at their career center or the on campus tutoring center. Sometimes just looking for tips or tricks from website like Pinterest can help too!
Plan Ahead– Once you have organized your schedule and life, it is easier to begin planning ahead. One of the best’s habits I have formed since being in college occurs at the start of the semester. I gather all of my course syllabi and mark all the due dates in my calendar for tests, quizzes, papers, and/or projects. That way these dates are already marked in my calendar and won’t accidentally sneak up on me. Then you can plan day-to-day or week-to-week for how to complete assignments and study for tests before the due date. I’ve learned that it is important to give yourself more time than you think you will need. In college everything school related takes longer than expected. So make sure to plan ahead well enough to give yourself plenty of time for all your school work.
Get Sleep– This may seem dumb or non-important to studying, but it DOES matter. Your body cannot function off all-nighters or only a few hours of sleep a night. Getting 7-8 hours of sleep not only improves your natural energy, but also your grades, ability to focus, and overall well-being. I have found it can be more helpful to stop studying and go to bed rather than miserably trying to read more pages of information I will most likely not remember.
Eat Right– Just like sleeping, many students think they can get away with the bare minimum on a tight budget or busy schedule. However, eating a well-balanced diet not only keeps you healthy, but it also keeps your body energized and ready for the busy lifestyle of college. It is proven that eating breakfast is the most important meal of the day and the worst to skip. I have found that eating a few pieces of fruit and a protein bar or something quick helps me wake up and stay focused in early classes. I also am less likely to gorge myself at lunch.
Exercise– I know I may be sounding like a parent; get sleep, eat right, and exercise. But it is true! I have personally put this theory to the test, and if you exercise daily you sleep better, study more efficiently, and have more natural energy overall. College can be stressful and sometimes pausing your 10 page paper to go to the gym for 45 minutes is far more beneficial to you mentally and physically than sitting at a computer screen for hours on end, just don’t forget to get back to the paper afterward.
All of these habits may seem random or unrelated to school and studying, but through experience and trial-and-error, I have learned that all of these habits are vital in setting yourself up for success. In part 2 of this blog, I will be giving tips on practical ways to study for your courses that go along with these general proactive habits.