You’re at college to get a degree, but that doesn’t mean you have to waste away behind a desk learning about physics or literature your entire time, as I’ll get onto in a bit, but the studying is an important aspect of college life and so let me give you some tips on how to study and get the best out of your potential and your time at college.
I just wanted to start by pointing out how important balance is. Studying should not be the most important thing in your school life, no matter what your parents or your professors tell you. At college, people – to use a hated cliché – find themselves. They learn who they are and make friends that might even form stronger bonds then the ones you have with your own family. At college you learn to be an individual and that is the most important bit (well the degree is also quite important, to be honest), so make sure you balance your studying with your spending time with your friends, relaxing, and extracurricular activities like playing sport, especially if you came through asmscholarships.com or some other scholarship agency, then you’re definitely going to want to keep a balanced school life otherwise you might find at the end of the year you’ll be eating the dust from that precious scholarship driving off to a more dedicated future star. Balancing everything will enable you to make sure you don’t neglect your friends or your studies and your experience will be all the better for it.
This will tie in with the first point. I know part of the joy of being at college is being free to do whatever you want, whether it’s getting up at noon and going to be bed at 3am or wearing pajamas for 4 days straight, but you need to get some structure. Plan your free time around your lectures and seminars. Make sure you leave enough time for studying and partying! Write it up, print it off and then stick it on your door so you always know what you’re doing every day. Be strong with yourself as well, and make sure you stick to it.
This is not high school; you don’t get given a couple of books to bring along to class and leave in the bottom of your bag and never look at. With college they might not even tell you to read certain books, but only recommend that you should. Read them all and then some more. College is a lot more about teaching yourself and not just hoping to learn everything from the professor. Make sure your reading everything possible (or even watching documentaries if you hate reading) so that when you need to write an essay or do an exam it will all be in your head anyway and that’s half the battle won. Hint: factor in a reading time slot to your plan as per point 2.
Unfortunately, I don’t mean the new Uncharted. Play with the information you’re learning. Just reading it all isn’t going to help you retain 100% of it. Make charts; write out the points and doodle around the edges of the page whilst reading them; make diagrams; color in mustaches on the faces in your text book etc etc etc. Just play around with the information in whatever way you can, because even if you don’t mean to, you will absorb it by some kind of mental osmosis. When it comes to the exam you will know the answers without even remember when you studied them