Posts Tagged ‘study tips’
As a college freshman, you might find the study and exam schedule to be a bit different than in high school. There will probably be a lot more reading expected of you and you will need to cover more material in depth for each course. Studying and reading can get monotonous. The good news? There are things you can do to shake it up and have more fun while you study! I promise!
1. Pick new locations. Studying in your favorite Starbucks day after day might seem like a good, comfortable idea – the baristas might even know your order by heart – but changing up study spots every now and then is an even better idea. Explore the different coffee shops on and around campus. Find a cozy spot outside on particularly nice days. Pick out different libraries or computer labs where you could study. Mixing things up gives you something new to look forward to each study session!
2. Work with a study group. Typically, a 3 to 4 person study group works best. There are enough people to share the work, but not so many that you get off task. Take turns teaching each other concepts or chapters discussed in class. You will definitely find out what you know and still need to work on when you try teaching it to someone else. Combine forces for a more engaging study experience.
3. Try a different method. Do you find yourself resorting to flashcards for every class? Give the cards a rest for a semester and see how your study habits change. Convinced you are not a visual learner? Second guess yourself and try creating graphs, charts, or pictures to educate yourself on a subject. Retreating to the same tools gets boring, so try incorporating new methods!
4. Switch between subjects. Drowning yourself in a Shakespeare course for an entire study session can be overwhelming – and exhausting! Separate your session into blocks of time. Switch between Shakespeare and something similar or related – like an art history class. It will keep your brain active and give it breaks at the same time.
5. Study actively. Instead of just reading the material, complete any study guides or questions your professor creates. Participate in class by asking questions and taking notes. Don’t forget – teaching someone else about a topic or idea is a very strong way to learn it. When you speak terms and concepts out loud, you learn and remember them better.
If you struggle with studying or feel lost, you can always ask your professor or TA (teacher’s assistant) for tips that might be tailored to the class.
Your over-caffeinated hands are shaking as you disperse syllabi across an unmade bed. Your folders are so stuffed with review sheets that the binding gave way weeks ago. Your dorm room is littered with Post-Its on your microwave, your bed, your door, and your desk. There are equations to remember, bones and muscles to memorize–there is so much to take in and only a few days to do it. Your color-coded calendar continues to mock you with this fact. You dig out a dusty textbook and begin bookmarking everything that looks important, which is wayyyy too many things! There’s not enough time to do this. There’s just too much. You can’t do this. You’re going to fail. You grab a Red Bull and panic.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Health Studies entitled “College Students’ Academic Stress and Its Relation to Their Anxiety, Time Management and Leisure Satisfaction,” academic stress is something most college students experience at some point, most often in their freshman and sophomore years, and more often with women than men. One of the most common stressors in addition to grade competition is the self-imposed perception of workload in conjunction with a particular time frame. In other words, too much to do and not enough time. This panicky, overwhelmed, sleepless feeling at the end of the semester can be reduced by practicing good time management skills all year long! The following is a list of tips to help you better structure your schedule so when finals week hits, you’re in charge and you own your time.
Get Organized: While it might take a few extra seconds to file everything exactly where it belongs, and to write down every assignment, it beats spending hours looking for a paper you lost, or worse, redoing an assignment you misplaced. A planner and an adequate amount of notebook, folder, and binder space is one of the best investments you can make as a college student.
Prioritize: Categorize your assignments into a hierarchy of importance. Complete the hardest and most time consuming assignments first, and save the quick, more fun ones for later. You can also prioritize your time. Sometimes you don’t have the capacity to do everything you wanted. Decide what the best use of your time is, and go with it.
Set Goals: It’s easy to sit down to write a paper and let four hours pass with nothing to show for it, especially if you’re not interested in the assignment or aren’t prepared to write it. By setting goals for yourself such as “finish paper by 5 p.m.” you’re more likely to get things done and stay on pace.
Make Time for You: Despite how busy you may be, everyone needs time to just do what they want, whether that be a twenty minute run, dinner with your friends, or a Sunday evening of video games.
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Even if you’ve known you wanted to graduate college with a degree in bio-physics since you were 7 years old, depending on which college or university you wind up at, there’s a good chance you’ll have to take some classes outside of your major. There are core classes you’ll be require to get credits for, and even just extra credits you’ll have to fill.
So, how do you choose classes that are out of your normal comfort zone? You’re in luck because we have to have 7 ways to choose college courses outside of your major:
1. Peruse through the entire course guide
If you’re at a larger university, this can be a daunting task, but you never know what you’ll find! There are so many intriguing, even fun, college courses being offered these days (like all of these pop culture courses). Make sure you look through all the classes so you don’t pass over something that might be right up your alley.
2. Choose by professor
Did you have a professor who just taught the most interesting lectures on what could be the most tedious subject ever? If you found a professor who can keep your eyes open and neurons-a-firing, don’t let him/her slip through your fingers. It’s kind of like what your grandma would say about your girlfriend, “She’s a keeper.” Find another class they teach and sign on up.
3. Ask your friends
Ask your friends if they’ve taken any classes that they recommend you take. Your friends are a great source of information because they know you better than any counselor or adviser. If they think you’ll enjoy Mummies 101, you should probably trust their judgment. That is, if you trust their judgment in judging what you’d like.
4. Do some research
Course selection is almost an entire course within itself. And just like any other class, you should probably do some research. If faculty reviews are public at your school, take a look-see. Insight into what others think about a class can help inform your decisions. You can also always hit up RateMyProfessors.com.
5. Take a class outside of your comfort zone
One of the best ways to expand your mind and widen your view of the world, is to take classes about things that might make you uncomfortable at first. Take a class in a religion that you don’t practice or a history class about a country you’ve never heard of before. While your major provides the opportunity to focus in on one field, your entire college experience is about widening your horizons.
6. Channel your inner artist
A lot of us have inner artists that come out to breathe less and less frequently as we get older. So, college is a great time to give your inner artist some oxygen. Take a painting class, bongo class, creative writing class–whatever it is–just sign up; give your inner artist some room to walk around and express itself!
7. Does it fit in your schedule?
The college student’s MO is creating a school schedule that fits perfectly with their nap schedule. Or work schedule. Or whatever. The cool part about college is that you have the liberty, most of the time, to design what time you wake up and what days you wake up. You could schedule a semester with no classes on Fridays, or no classes before noon. That’s why college is magical.
How have you chosen your classes? Leave a comment below!
There are ton of moving parts that go into a college search, and one of the most important things to figure out when you’re choosing a college is how you’d fit in to the college culture.
The Princeton Review recently published which colleges and universities had the most studious student bodies. So if you think you’re a bookworm who would fit in with the other kids at the library, check out these ten most studious schools:
1. Harvey Mudd College
Fun fact: Students at Harvey Mudd are encouraged to take classes for academic credit at the other four Claremont colleges-Pitzer College, Scripps College, Claremont McKenna College, Pomona College, Claremont Graduate College and Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences.
Fun fact: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology was founded in 1861 in response to the increasing industrialization of the United States.
3. Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
Fun fact: The College currently awards the half-tuition Olin Scholarship to each admitted student.
4. Harvard University
Fun fact: Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States.
5. Princeton University
Fun fact: Princeton has been associated with 33 Nobel Laureates, 17 National Medal of Science winners, and three National Humanities Medal winners.
6. United States Military Academy, West Point
Fun fact: Candidates for admission must both apply directly to the academy and receive a nomination, usually from a congressman.
7. Davidson College
Fun fact: Both the town and college were named after Brigadier General William Lee Davidson, a Revolutionary War commander.
8. Haverford College
Fun fact: Although the College no longer has a formal religious affiliation, the Quaker philosophy still influences campus life such as its Honor Code, which allows for students to schedule their own final exams.
9. University of Chicago
Fun fact: The University of Chicago is said to look the most like the fictional magic school Hogwarts.
10. California Institute of Technology
Fun fact: Caltech has a strong tradition of practical jokes and pranks, but similarly to Haverford, student life is governed by an honor code which allows faculty to assign take-home examinations.
Would you want to go to one of these “bookish” schools? Leave a comment!
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