With summer break coming to an end, school is just around the corner. It can be quite the challenge to get back into the routine of setting the alarm and being somewhere every morning. But there is a way to set yourself up for a good start back to college. Getting yourself organized and prepared can make a huge difference in the success of your first year at Stratford University.
College students can expect more homework and less oversight from parents and professors. It’s up to the student to prioritize their time and study habits in order to be successful. Developing good study habits and organizational skills that are effective for you are imperative for your ability to learn. Here are the top 10 tips to get your next school year off to the best start.
Develop a Routine
Find a time of day that works best for you to do homework and stick to it. This may change from day to day, depending on your class schedule, but make sure to get it done everyday. Breaks between classes are a great example of a time to knock out some of your homework. Also, be realistic about how long your studies will take and schedule that time accordingly.
Figure out a system to organize your school work and keep up with it. One way to organize your papers and assignments is to use one big notebook with color-coded tabs for each subject. Alternatively, you could use a different notebook or folder for each class. Either way, keep it simple or you are less likely to stick with it.
Keep a Planner
A planner is an essential component to staying on top of your assignments and your schedule. Keep it with you at all times while in class and write down all of your assignments as they are given out. But, don’t just use it for homework assignments and tests. You can keep a record of your extracurricular activities such as band performances or away games; as well as work commitments and social events. If you don’t want to keep up with a planner, use your phone calendar or an app with reminders to keep up with your assignments and activities.
Find a Quiet Study Place
Find a quiet place to study without distractions. Studies show that it takes on average 25 minutes to get back to your studies after distractions. Turn off your phone and notifications on your computer while you are trying to get your work finished.
While a quiet study area is important, a variety of places to study also helps your brain retain information better. Try moving to another place in the house such as the kitchen, or try the library, a coffee shop, or the park to change up the scenery and get your motivation kicked into high gear.
While cramming information such as Spanish definitions last minute for a quiz the next day may work temporarily, you’ll be right where you started come midterms. Studying a little everyday helps you retain the information and takes the stress off of big test days.
If you have a big project or research paper coming up, break the assignment up into smaller assignments, and tackle it a little each day. Or, divide your math homework into small groups of problems and take a break every time your complete a section.
Everyone has a learning style that works best for them; visual, auditory or kinesthetic. Knowing which type you are will help with your study habits and make you a better student. When you determine which style of learning is best for you, your study habits will fall into place and your test scores will go up.
Make Friends in Every Class
Having a couple of friends in each class is beneficial in several ways. First, you will always have someone to ask questions of in case you don’t understand a lesson. Second, if you miss a class, you’ll have someone from which you can borrow missed notes. And lastly, you’ll have a study group in place when it’s time to study for exams.
Don’t Skip Class
When you choose to skip class, not only are you missing important lectures from the professor, you may miss a pop quiz or new assignment. Save absences for days when you are truly sick or need to miss class for another important reason, like a doctor appointment. It is also important to be on time, if not early, to your classes.
Just because no one is asking questions in class doesn’t mean everyone understands what the professor is saying. When you are having a hard time understanding something in class, chances are a lot of your peers are too, but are too afraid to ask. It’s important to ask questions of your professor when you don’t understand something. Your professor will appreciate the questions – it shows them you are engaged in the lesson. And your peers will thank you as well!
Join in the Fun
Getting involved in extracurricular activities is a great way to meet people with similar interests as you. Studies show that students who are involved in sports and other school activities tend to have higher GPA’s. Take the initiative and join a club or group that interests you such as a certain sport, band, theater, or arts. If your school doesn’t have the club that you are interested in, talk to your administrators about starting one up yourself. Clubs and groups usually start having meetings the first month of school, so check out the different organizations Stratford University offers right away.