It can be difficult to settle into the routine of higher education for the first time, or even if you are returning to school--especially when you choose an accelerated curriculum or must balance classes with a full-time job. Luckily, old habits and new distractions don't have to stand in the way of your college degree. Incorporate these top ten effective study habits for college students into your daily routine, and watch yourself blossom into a capable, disciplined college student. They are easy to follow and implement, and require only a commitment on your part to follow through.
1. Take & review thorough notes while in class
Whether you're sitting through a lecture or doing an assigned reading, always take notes. You'll absorb key terms and ideas more quickly by writing them down immediately. Don't be afraid to ask classmates for a refresher if you miss a lecture.
2. Eliminate lifestyle distractions
Technology offers unprecedented ways to access new information. However, it also creates distractions that can prevent you from concentrating on your research. Stick to academic websites, silence your phone, and turn off your wireless connection as soon as you have enough information to write.
3. Schedule your study time
Instead of squeezing study sessions in between classes, naps, and other responsibilities, treat studying like any other class or commitment. Pick a specific location that's quiet, peaceful, and will give you plenty of room to work. Then set a specific appointment with yourself each week, and stick to it.
4. Organize your class materials
Instead of keeping one bulky binder or a backpack of loose paper, organize your notes and handouts into separate folders. This makes it easier to find what you need for each exam, keep your homework together, and prevent overwhelming clutter. Color-coding can also help you keep different topics separate.
5. Take every extra opportunity to study
If a professor or TA offers an after-class study session or extra credit opportunity, try to fit it into your schedule. This doesn't just give you a stronger safety net in case you make a mistake in the future; it also shows your initiative as a student.
6. Take care of yourself first - Get plenty of rest!
Your brain needs to recharge regularly in order to process and absorb new information. Sometimes all-nighters are inevitable, but don't let it become a habit, because sleep-deprivation can prevent you from learning or thinking critically. Give yourself permission to make up for lost sleep, too.
7. Study with a group or partner
Study groups usually meet before big tests, but many students have realized how helpful it is to help one another throughout the school year. You can exchange notes, quiz each other, and most importantly, hold each other responsible for showing up to each session.
8. Exercise to release stress
Instead of succumbing to anxiety or pressure until studying seems impossible, find a productive outlet to express your frustration. Physical activity releases endorphins that reduce stress and depression, and it's completely free.
9. Take care of yourself first - Eat well
Nutrition plays a huge role in your ability to learn. Instead of depending on sugar and caffeine--and weathering the crashes that follow--drink plenty of water and make sure you get enough fruits and vegetables. A well-rested, well-nourished, hydrated body is capable of staying awake and alert without help from chemicals.
10. Don't be afraid to ask for help
Don't be afraid to reach out to tutors, professors, and classmates if you think you're falling behind. Whether you have trouble understanding a new concept or just need help managing your time, college is full of people who know exactly what you're going through.
ECPI University is a flexible, stimulating learning environment for students of all ages and backgrounds. Take advantage of the support systems and academic resources that we offer, and always look for new ways to improve your time management skills. If you are interested in learning more about ECPI University and our accelerated degree programs, contact us TODAY! You can go from Zero to Bachelors in 2.5 years and that could be the Best Decision You Ever Made!
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