As a college freshman, you might find the study and exam schedule to be a bit different than in high school. There will probably be a lot more reading expected of you and you will need to cover more material in depth for each course. Studying and reading can get monotonous. The good news? There are things you can do to shake it up and have more fun while you study! I promise!
1. Pick new locations. Studying in your favorite Starbucks day after day might seem like a good, comfortable idea – the baristas might even know your order by heart – but changing up study spots every now and then is an even better idea. Explore the different coffee shops on and around campus. Find a cozy spot outside on particularly nice days. Pick out different libraries or computer labs where you could study. Mixing things up gives you something new to look forward to each study session!
2. Work with a study group. Typically, a 3 to 4 person study group works best. There are enough people to share the work, but not so many that you get off task. Take turns teaching each other concepts or chapters discussed in class. You will definitely find out what you know and still need to work on when you try teaching it to someone else. Combine forces for a more engaging study experience.
3. Try a different method. Do you find yourself resorting to flashcards for every class? Give the cards a rest for a semester and see how your study habits change. Convinced you are not a visual learner? Second guess yourself and try creating graphs, charts, or pictures to educate yourself on a subject. Retreating to the same tools gets boring, so try incorporating new methods!
4. Switch between subjects. Drowning yourself in a Shakespeare course for an entire study session can be overwhelming – and exhausting! Separate your session into blocks of time. Switch between Shakespeare and something similar or related – like an art history class. It will keep your brain active and give it breaks at the same time.
5. Study actively. Instead of just reading the material, complete any study guides or questions your professor creates. Participate in class by asking questions and taking notes. Don’t forget – teaching someone else about a topic or idea is a very strong way to learn it. When you speak terms and concepts out loud, you learn and remember them better.
If you struggle with studying or feel lost, you can always ask your professor or TA (teacher’s assistant) for tips that might be tailored to the class.