Attending college is not something that everyone can do, and if you have a place, you should be proud of yourself – it’s a big achievement just to get to school, let alone anything else. However, you don’t want to run the risk of wasting your time and money and squandering the opportunity you have to make the most of your time at college. This would be so disappointing, and you would find that your dreams for the future would be much harder to make come true, whether they rely on your having a degree or not.
Therefore, it’s crucial to know how to study well when you go to university. You might think you just have to attend lectures and read notes, but although that will be vital, there is a lot more to it and plenty that you’ll need to think about to ensure you’re studying well. With that in mind, read on for some tips. You don’t have to put all these ideas into practice if they’re just not going to work for you.
However, understanding the options and using the points that will help, will ensure you can be successful and go on to do whatever you choose once you graduate. Keep reading for this useful advice.
What Is the Best Way to Study?
You might assume that there is one good way to study and that once you discover what it is, you’ll never need to worry about your education again. Unfortunately, although this would be wonderful and would help everyone immensely, the fact is that there isn’t one way to study; there are many. You can use one or many of them. You can combine them or try them one at a time. It is an ongoing process that you’ll need to investigate thoroughly.
As disappointing as this might be, you can think of it in another way. By working through a variety of different study options, you can find the way that fits you best. In this way, you can do better at school than you would otherwise. If you were told there was just one way to study and you went along with that idea, you might not be as successful, productive, or happy as you would be if you found your path.
As well as this, learning a variety of different study methods opens up a range of new ideas and opportunities that you might have missed out on otherwise. Although it will take longer and potentially be more of a challenge, trying lots of different ways to study will eventually give you more benefits that picking one option from the start and never trying anything new. If you’re not sure where to start or what your first step should be, read on.
Be More Organized
If you want to study more effectively and get the most out of your college degree, you’ll need to be as organized as possible. You might assume that you are a naturally disorganized person and, therefore, that this point won’t apply to you, but that is not the right way to think. It could be detrimental to your future.
Rather than making an excuse and telling yourself that you’re disorganized, change this. Become more organized. If you are already an organized kind of person, then this will not be such a challenging obstacle to overcome, but if you don’t naturally organize yourself, then it’s time to make big changes. It’s crucial.
One of the best things you can do is carry a notebook with you with a diary planner in it. This might sound old-fashioned considering the plethora of online diaries and organizers you can use, but sometimes, the old ways are the best. If you have the book with you all the time, you don’t have to worry about getting a Wi-Fi signal or running out of battery. You can make notes and rearrange things as needed, and you’ll always know where to look when you need to know about a deadline, so you can prioritize different areas of study.
This is useful if you attend a physical college, but it’s crucial if you’re taking an online Ed.D. program healthcare, or a similar program. There are many benefits to studying online, and for some, it is the ideal way to work, giving them more opportunities than they would have had otherwise. However, in many cases it comes with additional distractions – working from home always runs this risk – and because the work is done at your own pace, it is easy to become less organized and less motivated at times. Using your trusty notebook to keep you on track could make all the difference.
Pay Attention in Class
One of the most important things when it comes to your college degree, whether you’re learning online or in a more traditional setting, is your classes. To begin with, you need to attend as many as possible. Sickness or emergencies will sometimes mean you can’t get to one class at times, for example, but unless there is an incredibly good reason to miss your lecture, you need to attend them all. If you do miss one, make sure you can catch up by borrowing a friend’s notes or speaking to the professor who might be able to help you. At the very least, this shows you are willing to do what you need to do to learn.
On a similar subject, when you do attend class, you must pay attention. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by what other people are doing around you and don’t distract yourself with devices, like your phone or tablet. Unless these things are required for the class itself, turn them off and put them away – you need to focus on what is being said.
Even if you don’t have to make notes because you have a handout or because the class is recorded so you can look back at it whenever you need to (this is certainly one of the advantages of an online class), it’s still a good idea to make as many notes as possible. The very act of writing down what you are hearing is a good way to help your brain remember it. Plus, as we said earlier, having what might be considered an old-fashioned paper and pen with you can be more useful when it comes to studying than many more technology-based options
Stay Away from Distractions
There have always been distractions for students, but this is perhaps even more true now because of all the different forms of technology we have at our disposal. A smartphone offers a lot more than simply the ability to make calls, for example, and all the notifications and alerts that you’ll receive can certainly be very distracting, even if you don’t open them or even look at them until after you have studied. Just knowing they are there can be a distraction.
Yet, it’s not just technology that causes these problems. Sitting by a window and daydreaming about what’s happening outside can be distracting. So too can choosing a busy spot to work or a noisy one. It can be distracting just knowing there are people in the same house as you. For some people, distractions are much less of an issue than for others, but everyone will be distracted by something.
If you want to study well at university and make the most of your opportunity to learn and go on to great things, you’ll need to stay away from your distractions as much as possible, and certainly, limit them if you can’t remove them entirely. We mentioned above how switching off a mobile device was a good idea in lectures, but this can also be well worth doing when you are studying alone. You won’t be so tempted to quickly scroll through your social media accounts or look at your texts if the phone is off and you must go through the process of turning it on and waiting for it to be ready.
The internet is another thing you can easily turn off if it is a distraction. However, the issue here is that you might need it to research your assignment. If that is the case, you can think about the websites you don’t want to visit, such as Facebook or YouTube, for example, and temporarily block them. There are various apps and programs you can use – many for free – that will do this for you. Set yourself a time limit and ensure you don’t get distracted, and your studying will be much easier.
Regarding other distractions, like the people around you and the noise from the street, noise-cancelling headphones could be useful, and a blind that covers the lower half of the window, so that you can’t see what is happening outside, but you still get good natural light can be very helpful.
The point is, you need to learn what it is that distracts you and find ways to minimize that issue and when you can do that, studying will become much more achievable and the results will be a lot better.
There will be times when you don’t understand something. This is understandable and inevitable; after all, you’re learning, and if you already understood everything you were being taught, why would you be a student? The fact is that you start your college degree course with little to know information about what you are studying and finish it knowing a lot. To know more, you’ll need to take additional classes. It depends on how much you want and need to know to follow through on your dreams in life.
To get to this point and to know a lot about something, you may well have to ask questions. This is not something to be embarrassed about. It’s not something to be worried about. It’s certainly not something to feel shame about. It is just a part of learning, and if you don’t ask the questions that you need answers for, you’ll have gaps in your learning that will make studying and achieving good grades very difficult. This is counterproductive, so ask for clarification whenever you need it.
You can indeed find out a lot online, but how can you be sure you’re looking at the right resources and that the information you are receiving is accurate? Again, you’ll only really know if you can ask the question and be pointed in the right direction.
Many people don’t feel comfortable asking questions in class. They don’t want others around them to know they are finding a particular topic difficult, for example. If that is how you feel, there are still ways you can ask questions. Perhaps you’ll feel happier sending an email to your professor – in this way, you can word things in just the right way. Or, maybe you want to talk to them face to face, but in their office. You can likely arrange an appointment to do this; this is what they are there for, after all.
Make a Good Study Plan
If you want to study well, you’ll need to have a good study plan to stick to. Think back to what we said about having a planner to carry around with you. This will help you make a plan that works in terms of the time you have available and when your deadlines are.
Making a good study plan is about more than just writing down when you’ll study, work on assignments, be in class, and when you have free time (although this can certainly be helpful). You need to go into a lot more detail, ensuring that every block of study time has a goal attached. By the end of this session, you’ll need to have learned about that, for example. If every plan has a goal behind it, you’ll be more motivated and have something to work towards. You’ll have a reason for studying, and that can be hugely beneficial.