Studying Advice from College Freshmen
One of the biggest differences between high school and college, is how and how much you need to study –for some, it’s THAT you study! Last fall, during an activity in my Freshman Orientation class, I asked the class to share their Do’s and Don’ts on studying. At the time, we used the information to help each other out. I think the information is particularly useful to freshmen, and I’m even going to go as far as to make a suggestion for it’s use.
Students, I want you to cut out this article and save it somewhere you can find it when you move to college. Take it with you. Then, about 2 or 3 weeks into the first semester of your freshman year, pull it out. See how many of the suggestions you are using and how many more you could use.
Parents, I want you to cut out the article (along with the NewsPress header and date, so they’ll know the source of the information – sources are very important in college…) and send it to your son or daughter at college 2 or 3 weeks into the semester. Ask them to consider the same questions.
Now I realize this isn’t an exhaustive list of suggestions, and that none of the ideas constitutes rocket science. I just think a simple reminder can go a long way. And until your student receives some negative feedback on their academic performance (once they’ve done poorly on an assignment or test, or are behind in a class), they’re not likely to think they need any help with studying.
Study ahead of time, an hour a day
Look over your notes once a week so you are familiar with the material
Read the (entire) chapters and re-write your notes
Read the syllabus
Make a game out of studying so material will be easier to remember
Plan ahead, schedule (your) time
Pay attention in class
Go somewhere quiet, like the library
Always study in the same place
Make and use flashcards, also make and use practice tests
Hi-light important information when you read your book and notes
Make and use a calendar/planner/organizer, as well as to-do lists
Take notes while reading your book, and use both them and your notes from class
Take study breaks periodically
Cram or put studying off until the night before a test
Study in a loud crowded area if you’re easily distracted
Get stressed out by school
Procrastinate on studying, research, assignments, papers, etc.
Watch TV (Grey’s Anatomy) while studying
Study in bed
Study for long periods of time without stopping
Play video games (not sure if that’s while studying or instead of…)
Talk on the phone while studying
Most suggestions were clearly a “Do” or a “Don’t”, however, a couple were suggested as both! For example, some students suggested listening to music while studying, while others warned against it. Also, some warned against studying with friends or in groups, and others suggested it. These are excellent illustrations of the fact that each student studies differently, and different things work for different people. In addition, some strategies will be more effective in some situations, than in others. (Usually) through trial and error, you will figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. The important thing is for you to be flexible enough to know when something isn’t working, and change to a new strategy.
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