Even if you were an academic athlete in high school, in college, everything changes. Professors expect more from you and you may no longer be reminded of important dates and deadlines. Here are some tips to help prevent that condition many of us obtain over the course of our undergraduate career: Procrastination syndrome.
1. Get Organized
- Write everything down. If you have to do it in the future, it should be written down. May be this means carrying around your planner or getting an app on your phone- find what works best for you!
- We also highly recommend a whiteboard; this can help you can prioritize and rearrange your to-do lists without having to scratch out a whole line of to-do’s.
- Try to keep the area where you do homework neat and organized. If there is a mountain of loose papers, food wrappers, or anything else covering your desk, you could be easily distracted.
2. Grab a study buddy
- Find a like minded friend to study with. You’re going to want to study with someone that you won’t get off track with but who also has an understanding of the kind of work you are trying to get done.
3. Take notes!
- If the topic is complicated or something you are having trouble grasping, copy your notes from google docs into your notebook.
- Whether notetaking is done by hand or on your computer, don’t take notes just to occupy yourself during class.
- Use your notes to create outlines, study guides, or even just to help review on a more regular basis to avoid cramming before a test.
4. Study off flashcards
- Flash Cards are easy to throw in your bag to help review while you wait for class to start, hop on the bus to class in the afternoon, or skim over while you wait for your starbucks in Carrier.
- Ask a friend to help you review by having them mix up the flashcards or reverse the recall of information.
5. Study EVERYDAY
- This doesn’t have to mean study for 5 hours every day BUT we recommend that you find some time each day to review.
- Cramming is NEVER fun. If you take time to study little by little each day, the information will make more sense and be even easier to remember.
6. Don’t always study your book
- WHAT!?!?!?! You heard me. There will be classes that simply do not use the book, they make you spend $90 dollars for something that won’t be utilized and it sucks. But it’s a sad reality. In the beginning of the semester do all of your readings and study hard from your class notes and books. And after the first exam decide if it contained any questions from the books. Chances are you’ll have a class or two that is entirely based on lecture.
7. Reward yourself
- Make yourself promises like “If you can get through your entire stack of flashcards with no mess ups then you can make yourself a snack” or “If you study for an hour with no distractions then you can watch a movie tonight.”
- Working towards an immediate goal gives more drive than an ultimate goal of graduating, getting into grad school, then getting the dream job.
8. Set Goals
- Having these goals helps you to remember that all of the hard work you are doing is serving a purpose.
- Make sure the goals you set are realistic.
- Think about short term and long term goals and make an action plan for what it will take to get you there.
- If you have been following these tips and studying every day then there is absolutely no need to pull an all nighter before every exam.
- There is only so much you can cram. If you are stressed about an exam the next day, it is more beneficial to give yourself a mental break and get a good nights sleep.
10. USE YOUR SYLLABUS
- At the beginning of the semester your professor is going to give you a packet of paper that tells you exactly how to pass their class.
- The syllabus will outline due dates, exam dates, readings, and what part of your grade each assignment accounts for. Yet so many students never look at them again after that first week.
- Once you get your syllabus you should copy down every single due date, exam date, and reading into your planner.
- Mark on your planner 1 week before an exam, so that if you weren’t already studying now you know to start.
Studying in college is a lot easier than a lot of students make it out to be. As long as you’re organized and you’re dedicated then you should be absolutely fine.