The Holidays are over, and school days are back again. Whether or not students are ready, a new semester has arrived, and school is in full-swing. Here are a few tips to have a successful and stress-free semester.
1.) NO PROCRASTINATING
Everyone has different study habits, but waiting until the last minute to complete an assignment is never a good thing, no matter how motivated you think it might make you. If you know that you have a big test coming up, don’t put it off. Study in little stretches of time. Start a week or so before the test, and tackle one chapter at a time, instead of trying to cram in all at once. Not only will you remember more, but you’ll have time to review all you’ve studied before taking your test instead of trying to memorize the material in a matter of minutes!
2.) FIGURE OUT WHAT WORKS BEST FOR YOU
Some people are auditory learners. Others are visual. Figure out the best ways for you to have the most productive study sessions. Do you study better by yourself or in a group? Often times you can get more done when studying alone, but studying in groups can be beneficial for quizzing each other and answering questions that you yourself may not have known. Are you a good memorizer? Would you benefit more from making notecards, or highlighting the answers in the book? A way that I really like to study is to learn all the material myself, and then a day or so before the test I have someone quiz me, just to make sure I have retained everything. You’ll usually be surprised at how much you know!
3.) GET HELP
Many colleges have free on-campus tutoring, all you have to do is sign-up for a time to meet with the tutor. Many students don’t take advantage of this free opportunity because they feel embarrassed that they have to get extra help, but don’t be! That’s what the tutors are there for, and passing the class is much better then struggling through it on your own and not passing. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Also, many textbooks now come with online help, such as quizzes, games, and chapter reviews. Some teachers even give extra credit for signing up for the online help. I have found the online tools to be the most helpful source of studying for me, because I am learning the material while having fun playing the games!
4.) TAKE A BREAK
Taking in too much information at once will do nothing but make you crazy. If you start getting tired and you find you’re not retaining the information, take a break. Get up and start moving or eat a little snack before hitting the books again. Also, try different methods of studying. If just reading the chapters are boring to you, make it fun! Memorize the material by making up songs with the definitions, or make acronyms to help you remember. Anything goes as long as you’re learning!
5.) GET REST
This is probably the most cliché rule of all, but it’s also the most important. Spending countless hours of studying will have no effect if you don’t get proper rest and relaxation. Try and go to bed around the same time each night, and avoid late night cramming. Even if you don’t get a full eight hours of sleep, you will function better if you get the same amount of rest each night. I understand how hard this is to follow when you are in college, I’m there myself. I set a rule for myself to be IN the bed by at least midnight every night. It’s better for me to wake up early and study then stay up late and forget everything I learned the next day. Remember to eat healthy as well. Water is always a better option than soft drinks, and eating healthy foods will help your brain function. Instead of eating junk food, switch to a healthy snack like grapes or a granola bar. Not only will you feel better, but you’ll decrease your chances of being exhausted and getting sick.
Stick with these 5 rules, and I guarantee you will see improvement in your work. Working hard to achieve your goals is never easy, but the long term benefits are worth all the hard work!