Studying can be such a drag.
But what’s even worse is that most of us make it that much more difficult because we don’t have healthy study habits. I had to learn the hard way (after failing miserably on an exam) that I needed to develop better and effective habits when it came to studying.
1. Ditch the Technology
Facebook and Instagram are great. They really are- but not great for your grades, in fact, they seem to be the biggest distraction amongst my friends and me when we get together to do a study session. Your best bet is to completely remove your phone/tablet from the area you are studying in. If you need your laptop for class make sure to only have tabs open that have to do with your school work and avoid checking your status online. My MacBook usually has facebook notifications that pop up I make sure to disable that as well. It is so hard to study when all you are doing is focusing on what your friends online are up to. My friends and I usually put our phones in a basket and leave them in the living room, while we study in the bedroom. We actually focus so much more when we don’t have phones buzzing all the time.
2. Study Buddy
There has been nothing more effective for my studying than studying with another person. I noticed when I’d study alone, or attempt to- that I would actually do everything but study. It has helped me so much to meet up with a friend weekly who sits with me and actually makes sure I get some actual studying done. It’s important to have a study buddy who is focused and serious about getting work in and not just going to serve as another distraction. If you feel like the two of you end up having too many side conversations that have nothing to do with the school work in front of you, then that person is probably not the best person for you to be studying with. A tip I have is to not study with your best friend. I know how much you want to be around them and enjoy their company, but usually, that just leads to too much talking about everything other than the topic at hand.
3. Study Environment
If you have a short attention span (me) or even if you don’t sound might be something that can really keep you from focusing. There are so many noises around sometimes, It’s so important to find a place that isn’t too noisy and disruptive. Sometimes I go to my local Starbucks and sit in the downstairs section that has nothing but lounge chairs and tables. It is the perfect distraction-free place for someone like me and I always get so much more done than I do when I am at home. A great idea is to find a place where a lot of other students go to study. It’ll really make you feel encouraged seeing other people doing the same thing and chances are there won’t be much noise or many distractions and that is always necessary.
4. Time Management
I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but cramming just isn't going to cut it. You can not learn or retain all the information you need to in ten minutes. A healthy study habit is to set time aside for however many days is necessary, that is specifically for studying. The best time is when you don’t have anything after you need to rush to: a day where you have nothing else planned and can take as much time as you need to make sure you aren’t only reading but comprehending and retaining whatever information you need to. If you feel rushed you won’t be able to concentrate as well, so finding enough time to just sit down and get everything done is a great way to not only get studying done but getting your brain to actually keep everything you learn in your mind.
5. Keep up with your health
I know this doesn’t really seem like it directly has anything to do with studying, but it does. If you are healthy, you function better. Losing sleep and eating junk all the time is not going to have your body and your brain functioning at their optimal levels. It is so important to get enough sleep every day, being well rested helps a lot with being able to think and use your brain to the best of its ability. If you don’t sleep well enough sometimes it can take your brain a little longer to understand something, or for things to click. It’s the same with eating. You want to make sure you’re giving your body nothing but the best so that you’re feeling great and able to function at your best level. It’s all about balance. Studying takes a lot of time and can sometimes cause a strain on your mind as you try to learn and absorb all this new information; so eating healthy and getting sleep are a must!
The spring semester is almost up, let’s study better and keep those grades high!
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