In High School, I would study the night before a test or not study at all and I’d still do well. It was a breeze (although I didn’t get straight A’s or anything). When college came I was in for a wakeup call. The tests weren’t that much harder, but the amount of information they covered was overwhelming. Now, as a new mama, I decided to head back to college! I have about a year and a half left so I jumped all in. But that also meant getting back into the groove of studying and doing homework. It is a bit different since my schooling is entirely online, but I have lots of experience doing college in-class. I’m BEYOND excited to start school again (I know, inner nerd coming out) and bracing myself for late nights and more coffee – like I don’t get enough of that with a baby! Ha!
I wanted to share my tips on the best ways to study in college and be successful! I developed good study habits and a schedule/routine that helps me stay on top of all my school work. Once you incorporate this advice into your routine you’ll be good to go. So, let’s get pumped for this school year.
BE (AND STAY) ORGANIZED
Schedule study time in your planner. The #1 thing that helps me stay on top of things is when I write them in my planner (my favorite is this one!💛)and this goes from all things school to work to chores. Scheduling a set time and day (not throwing it on a to-do list) helps you understand what is coming up in your
week. You have to treat it like any other event or even work. You can’t miss it!
Say a group of friends invite you to go out to the movies, but your calendar says ‘Economics Study Session’ you’ll know you’re already booked for the night. Don’t schedule appointments during it, don’t sit on your phone, or take a nap. You’ll feel more accountable and start becoming more responsible with your time!
Refer to the syllabus. I used to think a syllabus was pointless in high school, but in college, it’s my holy grail. Lots of teachers change their syllabi during the semester, but it’s a great place to start. Quick Tip: it will be your guide to success in your class! You’ll have the professor’s email, office hours, test dates, assignments, etc. I’ve had one professor who put all the types of extra credit work you could do and it was a lifesaver! Take advantage of your syllabus.
Have a game plan. I took this tip from my blogging experience and tweaked it a bit to suite college. For blogging, I create a content/editorial calendar. You can read this post to see how you can create one for yourself. For my classes, I create a study calendar 2 weeks at a time, usually because professors sometimes change their schedules. Having a plan of what you want to accomplish will leave you feeling extra organized!
I’m obsessed with creating goals and sometimes I just keep writing them down that the list goes on forever. Good or bad habit? Either way, it’s a good thing to know what you want in not just school, but in life.
Use SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, & Time bound. Don’t make the same mistake I did and set crazy goals with a deadline of 3 months. Be real and raw with yourself and truly map out how much you can handle. So, I’ll have a list of semester goals written in the front of my planner then monthly goals on monthly spreads, weekly goals, and a priority list for each day. I know it sounds like a lot, but bear with me. To break it down:
Everything leads up to your semester goals. Your daily priorities are based on weekly goals, which are based on monthly and so on. It’s like taking your semester goals and breaking it down to steps – ‘what steps will lead you to your semester goals?’
Looking back at your progress boosts motivation extremely! Plus, who doesn’t love that feeling of crossing off an accomplished goal!?
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF SCHOOL RESOURCES
All throughout college, I struggled with pre-cal. I’m the worst when it comes to math and I just had to pass this one class to finish my basics. But I ended up re-taking the class 4 freaking times! My problem was never asking for help. If you’re struggling with a course or on a certain topic, go to the tutoring center or office hours. My math professor sat with me every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during office hours to review everything in class (and that was for the entire semester). Your professors will more than likely be willing to help.
Your university should also offer free tutoring for certain class and have either a tutoring center or writing center. Both are really helpful! The writing center is perfect if you need someone to proofread your papers, even if you are a great writer.
Just know that professors are always there to help. Communication is key.
KNOW HOW TO TAKE NOTES
The biggest reason I sucked at studying was that my notes weren’t good. Either I wrote way too many details or the wrong details. My notes were unorganized so I ended up never reviewing them. Finding a note-taking system that works for you is the best thing you could do. Personally, I love aesthetic af notes! When it’s pleasing to the eye I want to read and study it more. Now, during class, I take quick notes and later rewrite my notes to look pretty. Also, rewriting notes helps you learn and understand it better! Win-win!
STUDY EVERY STINKING DAY
I always struggled with studying that when I found what worked for me I felt like I won at life. My two study keys are:
- Skimming through notes from the last lecture help pick up where you left off. Helps retain information really well! Make it a habit 10 min. before class.
- At the end of the day, before bed, I write down what I learned in class that day. Nothing crazy, just a couple of sentences or one sentence. Keeping a specific notebook for this is perfect. After doing this my memory really started to improve.
What are some of the study tips that work for you? Which of these tips are you excited to try out?college, how to, planning, routine, school, study, success