Study Tips for the Student Who Hates Studying (basically every student ever)
Let’s face it - studying is generally not first on the list of things you really want to do and there are a lot of other things that are a lot more fun. Good news though, there are things that you can do to make the time you spend studying more effective. I talked to King's Student Counsellor, Zac Berg, to gain suggestions on how to stay focused, increase memory and improve the overall quality of your study time. Here are some of his tips!
- Use a student planner: These handy books exist for a reason; although it may look like a lot of things to do, if all of your assignments, papers and tests are written down in one place, you will find it much easier to stay on top of everything that you need to do. Plus King's Students' Association gives them out for free at the beginning of the year!
- Take good notes: This way your mind has something concrete to focus on in class; plus, if you make sure that your notes are thorough and easy to read, they will actually be helpful when you need to start studying for tests.
- Actually read the textbook: Reading the textbook is a great way to reinforce and remember the information from class.
Manage Your Time
- Prioritize: Make a “to do” list and decide what is most important and what might not be as high on the list.
- Learn how to say no: Saying "yes" for some can be easy. Saying "no" not so much. Know what you need to do and ensure that you have the necessary time to be able to do everything that you commit to. You don’t want to commit to doing more than you are actually able to do.
- Be efficient: How do you use your time in the day? Are there chunks of time that are being wasted? Spend a little time thinking about how you fill your days and you might be surprised at some of the extra time you can find in your day to study, work out or get to bed on time.
- Maintain your study space: Having a neat, well-organized study space will ensure go a long ways towards making sure that you can clearly focus on the work you are trying to accomplish.
- Put your phone away: Constant pings from cell phone notifications are one of the best ways to prevent yourself from focusing for any amount of time – putting the phone away and setting yourself designated breaks to go on your phone will be a much more helpful habit.
- Take a screen break: Research has found that prolonged exposure to media (constantly checking Facebook/Instagram, spending a great deal of time on your phone, video games, YouTube, Netflix, TV) can greatly affect your attention and focus and make concentrating on reading, complex conversations or even listening to lectures very difficult.
Take Care of Yourself
- Get a good night’s sleep: Sleep is an important part of consolidating short term to long term memory, so instead of staying up all night studying, try sleeping and you might find you remember information better.
- Eat healthy: The chips may be cheaper and more convenient, but this can greatly impact your energy levels and attention. Eating nutritious food will give you more energy, and as a result, increase your concentration, memory and attention.
- Don’t skip the gym: There are so many ways that exercise helps your brain. It decreases stress, allows memories to be stored more effectively, and helps prevent depression and anxiety by increasing blood flow and oxygen levels in the brain. In other words; exercise is basically the best study break you could take.
Learn How to Manage Stress
- Always give yourself extra time: Nothing is more stressful than when you have everything planned out to the minute and something goes wrong. Leave yourself a little extra time to get everything done so that you don’t have a breakdown when things don’t go according to plan. Plus, even if everything does go according to plan, you can take that extra bit of time to relax and unwind before starting the next assignment.
- Do one thing at a time: Do you ever feel your assignments are overwhelming and unmotivated to even start? Start by breaking down your assignments in to smaller manageable parts, and begin by just doing one thing at a time. Start with something quick or something that you find enjoyable, and slowly but surely, you can start crossing things off your to-do list.
- Know yourself: You know best what you can handle and how to study most effectively. Figure out what your learning style is and you will be on the right track to being the best student you can possibly be.
I hope that you find these tips helpful – good luck and best wishes in all your academic pursuits!