College students are only days away from finishing up the fall semester, which means no more tests, quizzes, homework or studying. However, college students around the world must first buckle down and face one more challenge: finals. Fresh U asked four freshmen to reflect on how they have studied over the past semester, especially for finals. In particular, we asked them how studying in college differs from studying in high school. Here’s what they said:
1. Samay, Tufts University
“For calculus and economics, I plan to find a classroom and draw out all of the graphs, formulae models and actually work on them so my concepts are completely robust. It is easy to read the words off the page but lose their meaning in the process of understanding what it actually means. For Spanish, I will work on my verb conjugations and create Quizlets for sets of vocabulary. For Spanish, the methods are largely the same. For economics and math, there is far less reliance on past papers and more on actually understanding the content in the first place.”
2. Alaba, Syracuse University
“I always start really early and lay most of the groundwork at the beginning and mid-semester so that when finals come, I can take it easy and not be stressed. I will just sit or lie on my bed/couch and lazily scroll through pages of notes and textbooks, allowing my brain to digest everything without feeling like I crammed. My study habits haven't changed too much except that now I work smart, not hard.”
3. Alexandria, Howard University
“All I really have to study for is Calculus, so I'll be doing LOTS of practice problems. I feel like in high school I did a lot of studying in my professors’ classrooms, but this year I’m a little bit more on my own.”
4. Daisha, Tennessee State University
“My finals were two weeks ago. I would say the best thing is to continue studying and reviewing chapters and notes even after the chapter test and whatnot. I use this testing technique called 'throwing up' where I write out the key points on paper and 'throw up' (write) all that I can about the key points. And then look at my notes to see if I missed anything. I was an IB Student in high school, so it feels like I’ve already experienced college work. I wouldn’t say that my studying ways changed, but I will say I spend almost every day in the library.”
Although you may be taking similar classes to those in high school, once you enter college, you may have to alter the way you study. Workloads may be heavier, classes may be longer and tests might be different. Take it from these college freshmen that some things may stay the same, but some techniques may change. The key is to find a balance that best fits you!
Writer's Note: Freshmen Reflect is a new series aimed to help current high school seniors stress LESS about transitioning into their first year of college. Each article will a raise a new discussion topic to current freshmen in college, ranging from studying, to dorm life, to tips and tricks in the dining hall, etc.
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