Being a student can be overwhelming and stressful. Keep reading to learn how to succeed as a student.
Being a students can be overwhelming and stressful at times. It can be difficult to manage social life with studying and having freedom to create your own schedule. However, it is possible to learn how to succeed as a student! Here are our top tips for how to succeed as a student:
1. Become a Time Management Guru
It can be difficult to fit a part-time job, campus activities, studying, attending class and spending time with friends into your day. Create a schedule, be sure to leave time for yourself in there as well (that includes sleep). Make sure to put assignment dates and test dates on that calender to keep track of important dates and deadlines. This way you won’t forget about that test coming up or wait till the day before for that big paper. Find a method that works for you, whether it’s a good ole paper planner or kept digitally, it is important to write things down. Figure out if you need to plan your days down to the hour or plan weekly. It might take some trial and error to find out what works for you, but stick with it.
You can also consider signing up to online classes, or taking your whole degree online such as at University of the People. Studying online, means you save time travelling to classes, and you have the flexibility to choose when you study as there is no fixed schedule. The best thing about studying online is that it’s much cheaper than traditional universities, or in the case of UoPeople, it is tuition-free.
2. Master the Art of Studying
Just because everyone else is cramming, doesn’t mean you need to. Take it slow, plan it out and give yourself plenty of time. There are a few ways to master the art of studying.
Write it down. No matter how good your memory is, you can’t rely on it to remember everything the professor said in class. Find a system of note taking that works for you. It might be different from the person sitting next to you, but everyone works in a different way. Some people need to draw graphs and make their notes visual, others use colors and bold-faced words and headings, some use sticky notes to highlight the important parts. Experiment to find what works for you.
Review new information on the same day:
Review notes from class that day while it’s still fresh in your mind. This way you’ll know what you referred to in your notes, can make sense of anything that you are unsure of and ask the professor any questions you may have pertaining to that day’s lecture.
It might sound a little silly, but reading out loud to yourself is a great way to learn and retain information. Some people learn best by hearing something. When you read out loud, you are more focused on what you are doing and are using more of your learning avenues — visual and auditory.
Teach your friends:
Ever wonder why teachers know everything? Well, the answer to that is teaching is the best way to learn. When you are able to teach someone else a topic, then you have fully mastered that topic and have a solid understanding of it. Your friend even has the chance to ask you questions, which will challenge your understanding of the topic and force you to apply your knowledge in a new way.
Manage your time:
Just like you create a schedule for your day, create a study schedule. Schedule when you study, where you will study and who you will study with. Make sure to also plan study breaks in there too. It is better to study in shorter increments rather than studying all night for that test. Break your studying up throughout the week.
Find the right study space:
Being in the right environment can really affect how you study. Make sure there are no distractions in that space as well.
If you are studying, focus on studying. Don’t try to study and be on Facebook or texting your friends at the same time. It’s not effective. Save those things for your breaks that are scheduled in. Use it as a reward. It is impossible to multitask and effectively study.
Take regular breaks:
Studies show that working for a short amount of time and then taking a break helps you retain information better rather than cramming all the information in the night before a test. Work for 30 minutes or so and then take a 10-minute break. This helps you stay focused on the task at hand as well.
Drink lots of water while you study.
Find a study group:
For some, finding a group to study with can be beneficial. You are able to talk out any class material that you are having difficulty with. It also gives you people to teach the material to and people to quiz you on it as well.
Break it up:
Break your bigger tasks into smaller ones. This helps reduce the anxiety you might have over studying for a final or working on a project. Break the material down by subject and study that way or figure out what needs to be done first, second and third to complete the project. Big tasks can be daunting and overwhelming. Figure out how to make those tasks more manageable and less scary by breaking it down.
Start with the most difficult subjects first:
Your most difficult subject is going to take the most time to learn and understand. Start with that one first and break it down till you understand it, then move onto other subjects.
After studying for a certain amount of time or completing an assignment, reward yourself. It can be your favorite Netflix show, a treat, or time with your friends. It’s your reward, so make it something that will motivate you to get your work done.
4. Use Your Resources Wisely
A university has so many resources for you. Take advantage of the library. Every library has study rooms that are perfect for those times when you need quiet or want to study with a group. Librarians are there to help you with research. Textbooks are a great resource — they are a great place to look if you have a question on a certain topic. Take advantage of the different places there are to study on campus too.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
As difficult it can be to ask for help, it will help you in the long run. Asking for help is hard for many people, but there is nothing wrong with it. Professors are there to help you, that’s why they have office hours. If going in person is too much, then shoot them a quick email asking your question. They will be happy to see you asking for help, it shows that you really want to learn the material.
6. Eat Healthy and Exercise
It is just as important to take care of yourself as it is to do well in your classes. Eat well-balanced healthy meals and try to hit the school’s gym. Eating healthy and exercising will also help you be able to focus in class and while you study. You will have more energy to do more outside of class as well.
When you feel stressed, your body is responding to something uncomfortable and it can manifest either physically, emotionally, or mentally. Stress can have some serious effects to your health. Bodily signs of stress include dizziness, aches and pains, headaches, indigestion, appetite changes, muscle tension, problems sleeping, racing heart, cold and sweaty palms, tiredness, shaking, changes in weight, and upset stomach. There are ways to reduce your stress levels such as managing your time well, thinking positively, exercising, asking for help, managing your health and keeping to a routine.
8. Have Fun!
College is not all about studying. Have some fun as well. Now is the time to meet new people. Expand your social circle. Reach out to the girl in your Psychology 101 class to get coffee and study. You never know, she could become your new best friend. College is a fun and exciting time. Work on finding that balance between socializing and studying. This will only help you in the long run with a work/life balance after graduation.
9. Challenge Yourself
If school is too easy, you will be bored. Make it interesting and challenge yourself academically. Your best learning occurs when the material is not too hard but not too easy.
It can be difficult to be a a student. There is so much to do in one day between studying, going to class, maintaining social relationships and participating in campus events and clubs. Keep calm, write it all down, break it down into more manageable time blocks. Most importantly, slow down and enjoy your college experience.