This post was originally posted to Preparing for a Career in Healthcare Blog. To see the full post click here
Hello everyone! It is the hard to believe that we have completed three and a half weeks for the year 2019! Where has the time gone?
Despite the year still being one quarter complete, many things have happened. I have set up a Facebook Page, reconfigured my Instagram Account, started the Spring Semester of school, passed two tests, and I have two more tests coming up that I need to study for. Thus, I have taken inspiration for today’s blog post from having to study for school.
Studying comes in many different forms. For my first degree, my time studying was almost entirely spent reading, writing and memorizing. However, I am in school trying to earn a second bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering. This major is an entirely different breed. Engineering is almost entirely math. Studying for math involves more practice and deduction than anything else. But I am getting off topic, so I digress.
Since returning to college there are many things that I have learned about regarding study habits and college success. Below, I have listed out a few major points about studying do’s and don’ts.
1) The Relationship Between Comfort Level and Studying
The more experience I have with successful study, the more evident it has become that there is a correlation between comfort level and studying. In other words, the more comfortable I am, the less productive I am during my studies. To combat this, here are a few things I have found that help tremendously with my productivity during study hours.
Dress Nicely (Try to Avoid Wearing PJ’s and Athletic Wear)
No, you do not have to wear your fanciest clothing. But you will not be as productive dressed in your PJ’s or athletic gear as you would in regular clothes. Make it a point to wear jean pants or jean shorts and a nice blouse or graphic T-shirt. Another option, is a casual maxi skirt/dress, sun dress, or jean skirt. Since it is cold outside, I usually wear skinny jeans, boots, a fashion T-shirt, and a cardigan/jacket/vest. In the future, I might write a post that includes some of my favorite outfits to wear during my studies. But for now you might be able to find some inspiration on my Pinterest board I’m a Citizen of the World (pay particular attention to the Cozy Section, Casual Date Section, and the Weekend Section).
Do not Study on your Bed
I know that I cannot be the only person who is like this, but my bed is my heaven. It is the most comfortable place for me to be. Because it is so comfortable, it is a terrible place for me to study. I am not nearly as productive if I study on my bed as I am when I study at the kitchen/dinning room table or my desk. When I am sitting on my bed, I often time get distracted doing other things. This is not ideal for an environment that needs to promote learning
Better yet, Get out of the House
Being at home makes us comfortable, since comfort level seems to be inversely correlated with productive study. Therefore, it is probably best that you get out of the house entirely. Where you go does not matter, just get out of the house. I find that cafes are my favorite places to study. But libraries, classrooms, the Math Lab, your Professor’s office are all excellent alternatives to sit and study your material. On Friday’s I go study in my Physic’s classroom and study. On Tuesday’s and Thursday’s, I sit in my Professor’s office and complete Calculus III homework.
2) Read your Textbook and Write Down Everything!
There is something about writing things down that make concepts much easier to memorize and understand. As you sit and read your textbook, be sure to jot down as many notes about what you are reading. Also, it is very important that you review and rewrite the notes that you have taken while in class. For example, one of the things I do (especially in Physics). I sit and read the book and write down any and every major point and revelation the book gives me. Then you sit and practice the sample problems. Generally, I will try to attempt the sample problem myself, then go back and see what I got wrong (you do not learn a thing by getting everything right). Finally, I will attempt to solve every odd numbered problem at the end of each chapter (these problems have the solutions in the back of the book).
3) Setting Timers
This subject will most definitely require another post, because it applies to every situation (not just school). Plus, if you have never gotten into the habit of timing yourself, then there are a few things that you might want to know prior to picking this up as a habit. Therefore, I will follow up with a post in the next few weeks regarding this topic.
4) Finally, Take Breaks and Do No have “Study Marathons.”
As humans, some of our biggest flaw is thinking that we learn more if we sit for several hours and study the same subject they whole time. This could not be further from the truth. Be sure to take breaks during your studies. During those breaks, be sure to actually get up and do something. There are many things you could do during your breaks, clean your room, clean the kitchen, go for a run/walk, lift weights, spend time working on a hobby, blog and so on. This is why timing yourself with timers are so important, so that you do not get so caught up in studies. Also timers help you time your breaks so that you do not loose yourself in these hobbies during these breaks.