High school is challenging, maybe even more so than college. Sometimes it feels like no matter how much you study, you aren't getting the results you want. The way you study, however, has a huge impact on your performance. Think "quality not quantity" when it comes to studying for classes, and develop solid study habits to help you in your high school career. Here are some basic tips to get you started.


1. Make a soft study playlist.

Whether you like piano, soft rock or slow pop, make a study playlist with music that is relaxing and can help you focus. While "hype" music is fun, it's really not the best when it comes to getting work done. My playlists consists of solid piano solos, acoustic covers and alternative artists like Billie Martin, Ruth B and Bruno Major.

2. Keep a planner.

There is no way anyone can remember every little thing unless they have a photographic memory. By keeping a detailed planner, knowing what to study becomes easier, and you can tackle it with an organized approach.

3. Treat yo'self!

One main thing to remember is to work hard and play hard. You cannot be a studying machine all the time. Allow yourself limited rewards, whether it be TV for one hour or dinner with friends. I personally love putting on a face mask at the end of the day to relax and unwind. Give yourself a break!

4. Form study groups.

A good study group is the key to success in harder classes in which the teacher may not necessarily teach. For chemistry, my study group always meets at places like Panera or Starbucks so we have some food to get us through the grueling hours of homework.

5. Keep the SAT and ACT in the back of your mind.

Even though it may seem like a long way from now, preparing for these standardized tests can never hurt. It's always better to get them done as soon as possible so you aren't stressed your senior year

6. Get enough sleep.

Pulling all-nighters can be tempting, but listen to your body! It's always better to sleep, get enough rest and pick up where you left off in the morning rather than staying up and not retaining any information. The last time I was sleep deprived I almost failed my math test. Sleep is essential in memory and cognition.

7. Make your own notecards.

Studying off of someone's quizlet may seem tempting, but making your own notecards is so much better for memory and studying in the long run.

8. Break the essay up.

Please do not write an essay all in one night. Usually teachers will assign an essay a couple of days in advance, so what I always like to do is break it up. Make short-term goals for yourself, and have a schedule of doing the introduction paragraph one night, the body paragraph another and so on. This way, you will have quality work without cramming everything into a night.

9. Put your phone somewhere where it won't distract you.

Everyone needs his or her phone when studying, whether he or she needs to text a friend or look at a picture of notes. However, never have it in a place where you can easily see your notifications. Give yourself breaks, and check your phone once you've accomplished something or if you need to look at something school-related.