Efficient Study Habits

It has well been into the fall quarter now and college has been progressing steadily. Maybe it’s because it’s distance learning. Maybe because it’s just the first quarter. The workload given is very contrasting to what everyone told me it would be like. I’ve read from books, heard from friends, and heard from seniors that I will typically be sitting behind a desk for like thirty hours a week doing homework, studying, and such, however, this has not been the case for me. Sure it also probably depends on your classes and major, however I think I have found a way to ensure you don’t want to be at the end of a noose by Sunday night realizing you haven’t finished any homework. 

ALWAYS REMEMBER TO START THE HOMEWORK THE DAY IT’S ASSIGNED. The point of doing this is to create the feeling you started on a project and since you started you have a sense of urgency to finish it on the same day. I find that starting homework the day I start to be way easier as all the material I learned that day is fresh in my head and I could use it to complete work. Subjects that are more technical such as Calculus and Chemistry are also much more so as there are multiple concepts that must be finished usually with homework. 

Another thing I’d like to cover is note-taking. Don’t be the kid who takes all the notes you can for a textbook and lectures. Just having a notebook crammed full of notes with crap you don’t understand. For Chemistry, I usually just take notes on formulas and three example problems. I do this so I don’t confuse myself with other markings in my notes which I look at later and do not understand at all. Take the most important overlying concepts within a lecture and focus on explaining how it connects to an example problem. This is especially important so you can figure out how to use the concepts you learned in applications.

Another trend I have noticed during my first two quarters in college is that the traditional lecture based courses are taking a different approach. Instead now there is a shorter lecture and smaller groups where another professor will work with students to get their work finished. This is a huge blessing. Make sure to take this time to finish your work and ask any questions necessary. Trust me, you can probably get most of your homework finished if you take this time seriously to work with your professors.

For bigger projects I suggest that just like your homework, START IT ON THE FIRST DAY. The second you decide that you will do it the next day, you will push it back constantly. Getting work started on the day it’s given is even more important with bigger projects. Do not get comfortable with that three/four week deadline, it’s going to catch up quickly. Aim to finish your projects within half the time given so you can make corrections and changes necessary.

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