1. Start with success
Studying starts in the classroom. I know it's hard, but pay attention in lecture. It will serve you so much better when you are trying to remember what that one concept was the night before. Also, taking organized notes keeps you attentive and will help you later. I like to make my notes really colorful and add pictures when necessary to really understand the topics.
2. Make a playlist to get you in the zone
If you like listening to music every second of the day like myself, then make a studying playlist! Classical music, rap, instrumentals, pop music - there are so many possibilities. Find what works best for you and make a playlist to get you in the zone. Right now, I'm really digging the Spotify playlist "Lo-Fi Beats" to get my best work done.
3. Set goals
Goal setting is imperative to getting shit done. I like to make to-do lists for my day, making sure I know what I need to finish before bed. It helps to include exactly what chapters you want to master. At the end of the day, it is super satisfying to check off all of your accomplishments.
4. Find your perfect study space
Mine is at a table on the third floor of Thompson. Your's might be at your dorm room desk or a coffee shop or a study pod in the Union - everyone is different. It's necessary to find the spot that works best for you. Some people need dead silence and isolation and some like the slight buzz and bustle around them. Find your place and try to stick to it.
5. Put your phone away
Your phone is a perfect way to waste time. Do you really need to check your Snapchat stories again? You've already scrolled through your whole Instagram feed - there's nothing new. Put that thing away and get to work!
6. Quizlet is your friend
This is a personal favorite of mine. Quizlet is so easily accessible and perfect for sharing with your study buddies. It's a great way to quiz yourself and keep track of your progress. Everyone hates having to remember 50+ terms, so why not make it fun?
7. Rewrite things over and over again
This is a great way to remember things. Writing things out is one way memorize things, rather than just reading it over and over again. Also, it can be used as a test to see how much you can remember without being prompted.
8. Time yourself
Wanna get something done? Set your timer for 25 minutes and see how much uninterrupted work you can get done. Using a timer is a great way to motivate yourself and finish things in time. Most of us are procrastinators - it's just the truth - so timing yourself can act as a challenge and a good way to trick yourself to get stuff done.
9. Challenge yourself with a practice test
Practice tests are a demo run for the real thing. This is a must-do to prepare yourself for what's to come. Even crafting the practice test serves as some studying!
10. Verbally present learned topics to others
Presenting in front of the class sucks, so put yourself through the worst to do the best! If you can't explain a topic to someone else, then you probably don't understand it in the first place. Saying what you've learned out loud can help you form your ideas and it's a good excuse to call your parents or best friends from home during this busy time.
11. Make some study buddies
It's important to have someone in your class that can help you out with topics you don't understand. However, make sure you know when to work with others and when to be on your own. If you're always studying with others, it is easy to get distracted or even fool yourself that you know something you actually may not.
12. Reward yourself
Studying for hours straight is not good for anyone. Reward yourself with some snacks and breaks. I like to work for an hour and then get up and walk around or go grab a coffee. Or, make plans with friends when you start studying so that you have something to look forward to after a nice grind session. Even the smallest breaks can help you feel the best.