So, you’ve made the big decision of going to college. Now you’re wondering, can I figure out everything that comes along with college? Will studying be different than high school? Will I be able to do this?
Here are some great study tips that will start getting you into some positive habits which you can eventually use in your college classes.
1. Track more than homework in your school planner.
Keeping a calendar helps you plan ahead—but you’ve got more going on than just homework assignments! Make sure you’re marking your extracurricular, work, and social commitments, too. (Tests, band practice, away games, half-days, ACT/SAT, and holidays are just a few examples of reminders for your planner.) When you have time, check out other ways to track your schedule, like Google calendar.
2. Start small.
If you’ve got a big assignment looming, like a research paper, stay motivated by completing a piece of the project every few days. Write one paragraph each night. Or, do five algebra problems from your problem set at a time, and then take a break.
3. Learn how to create a distraction-free zone.
A study on workplace distractions found that it takes workers an average of 25 minutes to return to what they were working on pre-interruption. Try turning off your phone notifications or using an app to time you out of social media on your cell phone or laptop so you can concentrate on the homework tasks at hand.
4. Know where you can find help.
Check out colleges you’re visiting to see what their tutoring services are and where the learning center or academic support centers are located. Being proactive in finding these services can make the transition to college easier. Staff and peers in these departments can assist you with getting tutors, time management, study skills, and organization (and it’s usually FREE!)
5. School supplies (alone) don’t make you organized.
Come up with a system and keep to it. Do you keep one big binder for all your classes with color-coded tabs? Or do you prefer to keep separate notebooks and a folder for handouts? Keep the system simple—if it’s too fancy or complicated, you are less likely to keep it up every day.
Do you have a documented disability? There are a variety of disabilities that people may have like learning, physical, mental health, and chronic. If you have documentation from a provider, you could get accommodations in the college setting in academics, housing, or dietary through their Disability Services office. First-year students will need to seek out these services, so ask your admissions counselor to meet with someone in this area to answer any questions you may have.
These study tips, plus being present in class (don’t skip!), and reaching out to your professors during their office hours can assist you in being a successful college student.