The Fall Semester has ended and many of you have gotten your grades back. Well, I am here to tell you congratulations! You have already accomplished something that many people do not, which is you have successfully finished your first semester of college! I know your grades might not have been what you anticipated, but you have many more semesters to go. One thing about college that is different than high school for a lot of people, is the fact that you have to study. Studying in college is what hurts a lot of people, because a lot of students did not study in high school. I was definitely one of the kids who would look at the material the night before the test to fifteen minutes before the test and I would make an A. I had to definitely change my study habits in college to make decent grades. College does not have any classes I can study the night before the test and make an A. I have to start studying days and even weeks before the exam. Here are some study tips that got me through the darkest times!
1. Shots of Espresso
I absolutely hate coffee! It is freaking terrible, but one of the things I definitely do is drink a shot of espresso if I am feeling tired and I need to get some studying done. It is better than a nap, because it does not take up twenty to thirty minutes. It is also better than coffee, because it is fast and definitely wakes you up! It tastes disgusting, it is the strongest most bitter thing ever! Though, all you have to do is just pinch your nose and swallow. Espresso definitely keeps me alert and ready to study and concentrate.
I live by flashcards. Flashcards are not for everyone, but they definitely help me. Flashcards are best when I am trying to learn terminology and dates of events. I always turn to flashcards. I can keep them in my wallet, my purse, and or my backpack. I learn by taking the material from my notes and putting it into flashcard form. Then I learn more by looking at the flashcards over and over again. It becomes sort of repetition and I am able to recall the definitions and dates like the back of my hand. There is also an app powered by Chegg, so you can have your flashcards on the go. I definitely use this for subjects I am going to have multiple flashcards for!
3. Eat Fresh Fruits
To study successfully, you need to have a balanced diet. Sugary foods can definitely make you tired, because they give you a high only for you to come crashing down. Fresh fruits have natural sugars, which do not push your energy through the roof, but it definitely controls your energy to keep you at a safe energized level throughout the day. It is also healthy to snack on things like apples and oranges when you are studying, rather than cookies and candy.
4. Take Breaks
No successful person has ever gotten to the top and stayed at the top without taking breaks. No breaks can be detrimental to your physical and mental health. When you are studying set aside time to take meaningful breaks. Walk around, call a friend, or just relax and watch a sitcom episode on Netflix. Do something that relaxes you and takes your mind completely away from studying. This will prove to be wonderful for your retention. Therefore, when you study you can fully focus on your subject and devote all attention to learning and comprehending the information. Then when you take a break, you can use a different side of your brain and allow the learning and comprehension side to prepare itself for another 45 minutes of learning nomenclature or enzymes.
5. Use Color
Color is perfect for catching attention. I would definitely splurge on colored pens, markers, and or highlighters. When reading a book for literature or English, you should definitely highlight important pieces. Different colors can mean different things. Therefore, you might use yellow for the introduction of a new character, but the orange highlight is important information from the main character, while the blue highlight serves as a question you might ask your professor about. Colored pens and markers are great for notes! Definitely color code notes. When learning mechanisms and reactions for Organic Chemistry I would always use the colors hot pink, royal blue, lime green, and baby blue. Hot pink would be the name of the reaction. Royal blue would be the stereochemistry. Lime green would be regioselectivity, and baby blue would be the mechanism. This really helped me study because the different colors on the page drew my attention to different areas and kept me focused.
6. Form Study Groups
Study groups always help me study. In a study group, you do not always have to study together. You can study separately. I found that when I studied in a group that tackled things together, I was not always comprehending what I needed to comprehend. I was just going along with the group. Although, when I studied on my own terms surrounded by people who were studying as well, I found myself focused and understanding more of the subject. Therefore, get together with friends and go to the library or go to the common room in your dorm area and just sit and study. If you want a change of scenery, take a blanket outside or go to a coffee shop with some friends and study. It really helps when you have others around you that are studying and working towards the same goal. If you are finding yourself to have a problem with a particular subject, study with people from your class. This helps you build new relationships and friendships. It also helps reinforce things you do know, by allowing you to teach others. Lastly, it helps you understand things you do not know by allowing others to teach you. So, if you are having trouble in a particular subject, pull together a study group that meets once every week or two and go over lecture material together and share notes!
7. Do Not Use Your Phone While Studying
Do not use your phone when studying. It usually leads to you just scrolling down your time feed for thirty minutes, when you could have been reading for a class or writing out some notes. There are plenty of apps that can disable your phone for sometime while studying. Also, turning on the do not disturb or putting it on airplane mode and turning your phone face down works wonders.
8. Play New Music
The perfect study music is music you do not know the lyrics to. Find this time to listen to a new album by one of your favorite artists, listen to the Discover Weekly Playlist on Spotify, or listen to some instrumental music from soundtracks. If you know the music you are likely to stop studying and sing along, but if you do not know the music, it is nice background to have when studying about the culture of the Mongols or when learning chemical compounds.
9. Bring Snacks
Snacks are perfect for long study night or study day! That way when you take a break you can kick back, or you can set gummies on each new paragraph in your book. Therefore, once you hit a new reading passage you can reward yourself with a sweet treat.
10. Make Study Guides
Once you have taken a test or a quiz from a professor, you know their testing style and what they are likely to quiz you on. Therefore, take your lecture notes and book notes and make a study guide. You can also sell this study guide on College Owlz or other sites to make money for just studying. Review this study guide in depth at least three days before the test and the morning of the test. This will definitely make sure you understand the material.