As a new college freshman, you’ll probably figure out quickly that college is a different world. You may have aced your classes in high school and been the big fish in the pond, but welcome to college!! Why, you ask, is college so hard? In high school, your teachers spent class time transferring material over to you, whereas in college the motto is “You’re grown and on your own.”
College professors spend a tiny miniscule fraction of their time explaining the course material, and the rest of their time waiting for you to do independent studying and trying to figure out exactly what’s expected of you in order to get a passing grade. Nice right?
With the right studying tips you can manage college and stay the course (no pun intended).
Studying for college is about time management, study space, prioritizing, and finding your learning style.
Let’s go through each one:
Organize and schedule your daily tasks in a day planner. Pick the time of day when you are able to concentrate the best. It doesn’t take rocket science to fill up your gas tank or do beer bongs, so save those tasks for “brain dead” time, and reserve study periods for peak performance times of the day when you’re most in the game.
There are a few theories about picking a studying space in your college dorm or at home. Some believe that alternating homework spots helps your brain retain information.
Others believe that a fixed studying area allows you to relax in familiar settings and is conducive to concentrating. Regardless of where you decide to “get into the zone” when cramming for exams, make sure the area is free of noise and distractions.
Some college students unplug their phones and choose an area where they know visitors cannot pop in unexpected. A well-lit calm area is also important for a good learning environment.
Sort your subjects according to difficulty, and schedule more time for the challenging college courses.
Be careful not to burnout out by studying too much at once. Take a break every few hours. You can reward yourself with an ice cream or a pizza after a particularly challenging study session.
You can also “sandwich” easier subjects between difficult ones, giving your brain a break and increasing your chances for better learning and memory retention.
Know your learning style
There are three main types of learning styles; visual, auditory, and kinesthetic, or “VAK.”
Visual is seeing, auditory is hearing and kinesthetic is hands-on or touch based.
Grades K-third grade uses kinesthetic learning, while fourth grade through eighth grades employ visual learning styles.
Beginning in 9th grade and through college, auditory teaching styles (lectures) and visual learning (linguistic and spatial) are the ideal.
Visual-linguistic college students learn by reading and writing tasks. They learn by what has been written down, and have good memory retention for the written word. They find language fascinating and express themselves well. They learn best when using spoken or reading materials.
Visual-spatial college course learners think in terms of pictures. They learn best when using written, modeled, or diagrammed materials, as well as visual media. They learn holistically instead of sequentially, and use intuition to solve problems. Visual aids are the best type of materials for these college students.
Kinesthetic learners study through touching and moving. They tend to lose concentration if there is no external stimulation. Kinesthetics like to get the “big picture” and usually have difficulty recalling what was said or seen. They learn best through a hands-on approach to college studying, and need frequent breaks.
Using good studying habits will help make your college journey manageable. Remember to keep your eye on the ball and graduate successfully. Hang in there!
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