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Oct 18 2018
by Julia Colthirst

9 Study Tips Every Freshman Should Know Before College

By Julia Colthirst - Oct 18 2018
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Ever since grade school, students were taught the “right” manner in which to study: dedicate yourself to memorizing (studying by means of the heart) and find a quiet place (lock yourself in a noiseless room and don’t leave till you know the material). However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Studying is much less of a pain if you learn to use your time wisely. Here are some very convenient guidelines for making the best of inadequate time you have to cram before you head into finals.

1. Take good notes in class.


The correlation between good notes and good study habits is undeniable. Study habits are simple. However, taking smart notes isn't natural to anybody. The trick is to record the key points of the lecture or textbook while not writing down an excessive amount of extraneous information. If you’re disturbed, then you’re missing vital details; be at liberty to ask your faculty member during their office hours.  Several students conjointly record lectures, so that they will hear them later to verify their notes; simply ensure you get permission from your faculty member first!

2. Don’t cram.

It’s definitely tempting to put off your studying until the last minute but you’re much less likely to retain information this way. Good study habits come from pacing yourself. Try to study a little bit each day rather than saving it all for the week before the exam. This will help you ward off exhaustion and remember what you learned.

3. Don’t over-study.

For most students, “over-studying” seems (and probably is) impossible, but if you’re the sort of person who camps out in the library, you might be doing more work than you need to. Among study tips for college students, time management is one of the most essential. Make sure you’re studying the key ideas of each lecture or textbook chapter and avoid absorbing useless information. If you’re not sure, meet with your professor to make sure you’re practicing good study habits.

4. Join a study group.

Establishing a study group can really encourage you to study. Explaining difficult concepts out loud will help you figure out what you comprehend and what you will need to go over. Studying is even better if everyone brings snacks! 

5. Meet with your professors.

Scheduling an appointment or even just sending off a quick email with your professor will help you to figure out what to focus on for the exam.

6. Set a time limit for each subject.

Setting a time limit and then fully committing to studying during that time will help you to avoid procrastination! I’d recommend the native Pomodoro Technique — a standard kitchen timer along with a pen and paper to tally your Pomodoro’s — but this or works effectively.

7. Reward yourself.

After you’ve finished your field of study, reward yourself with a nice break – snatch a latte, go for a walk, take a cat nap, etc. This will help prevent burn out and keep your mind ready for your next study session.

8. Study in an appropriate environment.

Studying in an appropriate environment like a library will help you to concentrate on your studies. Uncover what works for you whether it's a café, your bedroom, the library or the cafeteria.

9. Know your distractions.

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, viewing YouTube videos, television shows, texting… distractions can be boundless! Still, it’s important to know what will distract you the most and to avoid them at all costs. If you need to turn off your phone, install a social media blocker on your computer or take a vacation away from your TV, then do it. 

Let's be realistic, school is a quite major ordeal—particularly if you're going into your first year with no thought what's in store (like me). Swapping the solace of your own home, family and everyday schedule for new companions, higher desires and a spic-and-span home can be terrifying no doubt.  At the same time, students with diverse learning styles and strengths are recognized and rewarded. However, these study habits can help reduce stress for all college students.

Lead Image Credit: Pixabay

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Julia Colthirst - Westchester Community College

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