15 Studying And Learning Tips That Helped Me Maintain My 3.9 GPA

15 Studying And Learning Tips That Helped Me Maintain My 3.9 GPA

I may go to a "party school" but that won't stop me from succeeding.

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As a college student, studying has to be one of the worst things. When you account for all of the classes you're taking, all of the knowledge you have to retain, possibly studying without a study guide, having a teacher who absolutely can't teach for shit, or you simply just can't focus... we've all been there. Trust me, I've been there. We've all been there.

I'm currently a junior in college, graduating a year early, currently holding a 3.9 GPA. If you need some studies or just want to improve your study habits, try some of these tips that I do.

1. Actually show up for class. 

I don't care if your teacher doesn't take attendance or if you don't learn anything. Three of my classes don't take attendance and I still show up. Why? Because at least I'm taking the effort to show up. Maybe your teacher will hint at something that wasn't on the powerpoint slides. Maybe your teacher will randomly do extra credit. At most, the least you could do is show up, even if you're not going to pay attention.

2. Pay attention in class. 

If anything, pay attention to your hardest classes. If I had to be honest, there are some classes that I literally show up to and don't pay attention to at all. But when it comes to my most difficult classes, I show up and actively copy down what my professor is saying. More often than not, your teacher will go way more in-depth on certain topics.

3. If possible, copy class notes ahead of time.

For the classes where my teachers post the notes ahead of time, I copy them down the night before. It may seem like a waste of time, especially when you'd rather be watching Netflix, but it helps tremendously. That way, when you're in class, you can focus solely on what the teacher is saying and take the time to write that down instead.

4. Go to office hours. 

Go. To. Office. Hours.

I promise you won't regret it. And even if it doesn't end up helping you, the worst thing that has happened is that you wasted about 30 minutes of your day. I go to office hours if I get a lower test score than I expected, if I want my TA's to check over my assignments for feedback before I turn them in (if possible), and if I want feedback after assignments are graded in order to understand what I did wrong. I've noticed that my work, and even my test scores, improve when I take the time and effort to see either my TA or my teacher during office hours.

5. Fill out the study guide (if there is one).

If your study guide is based on your powerpoint notes, don't sit there and copy and paste the slides into your word document. Repetition is key. Take the time to either write out or type out (if you're like me and prefer using your laptop) the answers. While you may not necessarily be directly learning when doing this, you are still introducing the information to your brain. Don't just rely on other people to send you their study guides, or even just pay for one. While it may seem easier to do it that way, other people's study guides may not be correct.

6. After filling out the study guide, or creating your own, go over it with highlighter and pen. 

I don't just mean reading it over and over. After I make my study guide, or even print out my notes, my first run through always includes a highlighter and a pen. I highlight important things (even if it means highlighting every single thing) and write little notes and comments to myself on the page. The highlighter will help you focus on the important things and writing out little notes will help you internalize the information.

7. After you've gone through with the highlighter and pen, read it over and over. 

Like I previously said, repetition is key. Read it over and over. And over. Read it as many times as possible. Read it when you're walking to class, read it when you're on the toilet, and read it when you're eating. While it may seem excessive, you will do much better on your exams. Why? Because repetition is key.

8. Study without any distractions. 

I prefer to study individually, there's nothing I hate more than studying with other people or in groups. I get distracted very easily when others are around me. Moreover, I tend to mix up facts and get confused when I hear other people discussing the material, especially if they say the wrong things. Try going to the library, your apartment's study rooms, or even a coffee shop. Wherever you study best at, go there.

9. Put your phone away.

No distractions. If you're the type of person who continually checks their phone while studying , put it away. Lock it in your room. Put it in your backpack. It doesn't matter where you are, but don't look at it. The more you look at it while you're studying, the less information you'll retain. Not to mention that once you go on your phone, you're less likely to put it down. Trust me, I know this better than anyone.

10. Read the textbook. 

Crazily enough, reading the textbook/assigned readings actually does help you understand the material better. Who knew? If you're not going to read them when they're actually assigned, you should at least read them before the test. At most, skim them over. Read the introduction and conclusion. If you're filling out a study guide, use the book/assigned readings to expand on the material.

11.  Try to study in advance.

If possible, try to start studying a week ahead. However, if I had to be honest, I only study this far in advance if I know it's going to be an incredibly difficult test. Other than that, I mostly study two days in advance. Sometimes the night before... With that being said, only study the night before if you know you can get away with it. If you constantly study the night before and repeatedly fail your tests, maybe you should start studying ahead of time. However, if you're like me and can manage to study the night before (in rare circumstances) and still get an 'A', then go for it. Just keep in mind that your brain will retain a lot more information, and you will remain a lot less stressed, if you study a little bit each day.

12.  Take study breaks.

This is important. Don't sit there and study for hours and hours and hours. Your brain will hate you, your body will hate you, and you will hate you. Take breaks, even if it's five minutes. Try taking a walk, doing some stretches, or even eating a snack. Your brain can only retain so much information and it deserves a break here and there. I'm not saying take a break and get distracted for two hours, but take breaks responsibly.

13.  Keep track of homework/assignments/tests with a calendar. 

It doesn't matter if you use a planner, a desk calendar, or even your phone calendar. Take the time to insert all of your assignments, homework, and tests into your calendar so that you can have an idea of when everything is due. Better yet, this will help you determine how long, and when, you're able to study for certain classes. You'll be much more organized and a lot less stressed.

14.  Say facts out loud instead of just reading them in your head.

I learn a lot more, and retain a lot more, when I say my notes out loud. If you're shy, just sit in your room and read them to yourself. If your roommates or your friends don't care, just sit there and read it out to them. Don't just read your notes verbatim but also explain out concepts. It doesn't matter if your friends are listening or not, just read it out loud and I guarantee it will help you remember a lot more.

15.  Utilize Quizlet if you don't mind typing everything in. 

For those of you who don't know what Quizlet is, it's literally just flashcards on an app. I think it's super convenient and easy to use. Better yet, it's on your phone and everyone always has their phone on them. Flip through the cards as you're walking to class or even sitting on the toilet. Like I mentioned with study guides though, it will benefit you a lot more if you take the type to type out everything, rather than just copy and pasting the material onto the cards.

I think it's super important to take school seriously and study for your exams. Don't just shrug everything off and call it a day. However, in the long run, failing one test here and there is not the end of the world. Take the time to study and try your best, that's the most that anybody can do.

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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6 Things Marketing Majors Know To Be True

You might think marketing majors are just a bunch of creatives who don't know what they want to do with their lives, but you're wrong.

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Yes, we're creative, and we also know what we want to do when we "grow up". Marketing is a practice that is so essential to the operation of every organization. Whether that organization is selling a product, or seeking support, marketing is just the tool to make that happen. I think a lot of times, the purpose of marketing is misunderstood, and many are misinformed about what it really is. As a marketing major, this can be a bit frustrating. People studying marketing are the future of many of these organizations. Here are just a few things that are true for many marketing majors.

1. *Watches a movie/TV show* "product placement...product placement...product. placement."

Once you've learned the concept of product placement, your experience while watching anything is changed forever. You'll begin to notice it every single time, while thinking to yourself, "you can't fool me".

2. You're constantly critiquing ads.

Once you've taken a class in advertising, you suddenly feel like you have all the answers to what makes a "good" advertisement. Whether this is true or not, we often find ourselves critiquing different advertisements we see, either out loud or just simply in our heads. For this reason, we really don't mind commercials all that much.

3. When you tell people your major they say: "so you just wanna sell people stuff?"

No. If you really want to annoy someone studying marketing, try asking them something along these lines. It's basically like asking an engineer if they just want to build stuff. There is a distinction between sales and marketing. Marketing is essential in generating sales, but it is not the same thing.

4. You roll your eyes at the fact that everyone thinks they can go into marketing.

A lot of people with degrees in who knows what often say: "I'll just get a job in marketing". With the large need for marketing professionals, there are many jobs available, but good marketing really does take training and education. It's the strategy that leads to the success of a good marketing campaign, so it is a little frustrating when people think marketing is so easy.

You don't understand why you need so much math.

Coming from Clemson, I had to take SO MUCH math. Everything from statistics, to marketing research (which makes sense), to accounting and finance. While this may not apply to those who want to go into the research side of things, us creatives are just perplexed by it. We don't feel the need to keep taking math related courses. Don't get me wrong, I do see the value in (some of) them now, but in the moment, I was miserable.

6. You're a creative.

A lot of people who desire to go into marketing are creative types who just want to apply that creativity to their future career. Creatives can be more than artists; we have the ability to contribute great things to organizations, and it is often through marketing that we can do so.

When you're a marketing major, there are just some things you become extremely aware of, and you start to see the world through a different lens. Say what you want about people studying marketing, but it is essential to all organizations, and not just anyone can do it.

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