By the time you start your university education, you most likely feel that your existing learning approach is perfectly optimal. More often than not, students fail to notice the biggest “gaps” in their studying strategies, which can reflect poorly on their grades and pace of progress.
In order to avoid late-night cramming sessions, setbacks in learning, poor note-taking and memorizing endless pages of useless information, you will need to revise your current study routine to adapt to your new environment and reap the rewards of your university education.
With a wide scope of assignments from all your courses, projects and lectures, you will need to think ahead and keep track of your most copious and demanding tasks. For example, while a paper might be due a month from now, you will need to schedule some library time and writing sessions and decide which materials will be most important to complete your assignment.
Priorities, as you can see, come in many forms. Although you need to consider the tasks with the most immediate deadlines as your priorities, you also need to take into account all those extensive projects that will require multiple study sessions, reviews or consultations. Make time in advance for all of your assignments and your studies will be much more manageable.
Short-term and long-term goals
Even though your weekly calendar will include your most important tasks at hand, having a detailed semester plan of your specific, short-term goals while keeping in mind the big picture will help you monitor the speed of your progress and make changes to your study routine along the way. A flexible routine includes many achievable milestones together with some “wiggle room”, which will increase your productivity and motivation.
Having a sense of achievement every time you complete a smaller task will serve as the perfect incentive for upcoming challenges. Long-term goals are perfect for giving general direction and making sure you’re staying on course, while short-term tasks help you manage your workload more efficiently.
Learn from your predecessors
Chances are that the previous generations of students had similar issues, so take advantage of the available materials to learn from their mistakes as well as have a glance at their useful notes. Students from many universities are more than happy to share their experience, so do your research on past exams using a platform like Thinkswap to brush up on your knowledge in any given subject matter.
If a study area such as real estate development is not your forte, or you’re not sure how to prep for a comparative criminology exam, reaching out to your senior classmates for help will ensure that you can still keep up with the demands of the subject without reinventing the wheel on your own.
Ditch the distractions
As tempting as it may be to have a bowl of your favorite munchies on your desk or throw an occasional glance at the muted TV in the background, your productivity levels will skyrocket only if you create a distraction-free study environment for your every session.
Go to your university library, spend time in the most naturally lit area with little noise, join a study group, keep away your phone and sign out of your social media accounts to avoid hours lost on meaningless scrolling and chatting. If music helps you focus and relax, get a pair of headphones to isolate yourself from the rest of the world and make the most of your study time.
Academic education is primarily your own choice. However, many students get lost in the heavy workload and little free time, and they lose their drive and desire to advance. While it can be difficult to remember why you opted for going to a university in the first place in those moments, it’s essential to maintain a positive outlook on your efforts and challenges alike.
Celebrating your achievements, inventing a reward system to push you through the hard times and looking for support from your mentor or your classmates can go a long way in helping you stay positive and achieve your goals.
Managing your study time without depriving yourself of relaxing activities and hobbies will ensure that you can thrive in your university environment and enjoy a rich social and personal life. It takes time to discover which strategies work best for you, but applying these simple principles for a successful study routine will be worth your while as they will allow you to achieve your goals much more quickly and efficiently.