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Osorhor Ogenevwegba Michael
Delta state polytechnic otefe oghara ( DESPO )
Graduate, Nigeria.
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Hey, guys. I’m back with another blog post. I’ve been doing a really good job when it comes to scheduling out blog posts early and I hope I can keep it up. Classes are officially starting this week. Some of my friends start school today, but college doesn’t start for me until Wednesday, so I still have a little time. I’m going back to my dorm tomorrow.

If there was one trend I can identify about myself from last semester, it would be that I wasn’t a very good student. There were a lot of transitions last semester and academics were not my top priority. Now that things have calmed down a bit, I’m ready to get back to being a bit more studious.

I’m sure a lot of you also have new years resolutions related to academics, so here are 12 ways to be a better student this year.

1.// Reread Your Class Notes At The End Of The Day

I have a tendency to wait until a test to go back through that unit’s notes. Even though I start studying for exams early, the units I study are always related to my test. This semester, I want to get into the habit of studying a little bit every day, whether there is a test or not. That way, I’ll retain the information better.

I plan on doing this by going through that day’s PowerPoint after the lecture. Going through the same information twice on the same day will help me remember and it will give me a concrete task to do instead of just writing “study social psychology” on my to-do list. I’m much more likely to study productively if my to-do list says “Reread Chapter 13 PowerPoint.”

Some of you may want to take a weekly approach. Maybe you guys will want to go through that week’s notes altogether during the weekend. If that works best for you, you should do that. I decided to do it this way because I know that I am more likely to get this particular task done if it becomes a daily habit.

Basically, the tip is to go over your class notes on your own. Not just to study for a test.

2.// Sit In The Front Row

I cannot stress this enough. Professors have given me extra credit for sitting in front of the class. I’m not even joking. This is because when I sit in the front, I’m more likely to participate in class. (I’ve noticed this in other students too. )This is mostly because I pay more attention when I’m sitting in the front row. I’m less likely to get distracted or take out my phone because I know that my professor can see me. Because I have to pay attention even when a class is boring, I’m actually listening to what other students are saying and can participate in the discussion.

Doing this will also allow your professor to learn your name, which will help a lot when you need letters of recommendation.

3.// Take Notes By Hand

We’ve all heard this already. Taking notes by hand helps us retain more information than taking notes on a computer. This also limits the distractions technology can bring.

4.// Create An Assignment List Based On Your Syllabus

This is a lifesaver when it comes to assignments. When you get your syllabus on the first day of class, open a document and write out every single assignment for the semester. This is a tedious task but so worth it.

I always divide it by week number because most of the syllabi I receive are organized by week. Each week number is centered, and under it, I write out the day of the week and the date. Under each date, I color code the class and type out the assignment due/chapter to read. I bold all the tests and projects so that they stand out.

This helps me plan out my weeks and not miss a single assignment. Your college professor may not end up telling you when there is a discussion post online or when a small homework assignment due. This list will keep you on track with what’s due on which date, instead of looking through five different syllabi at once.

5.// Get 7-8 Hours Of Sleep

I know that this may seem impossible but bear with me. I have class five days a week and I work on weekends, so I have to be on seven days a week on clockwork. It is very rare that I ever have a free day, so I need to keep my energy up. I am one of those people who can’t function without sleep. I need to get at least six hours, or my brain is mush.

It takes a lot of time management, but it is possible to get enough sleep. I always set an alarm at 11:00 to remind myself to wrap up my work so that I’m in bed by midnight. Having a set time to stop working makes me less likely to procrastinate because I know that there is a deadline for my study time.

If I’m working on a project, I start earlier so that I’ll be finished before I have to get to sleep. Even if I do have to stay up late to finish something, I don’t stay up all night because I make a decision to go to sleep by one. If I feel tired, I’ll go to sleep and wake up early to finish the project.

Because I do this, I’m always alert during my morning classes and don’t need coffee to keep me awake.

6.// Practice Self Care

Self-Care has become much more of a trend these last few years, but I don’t mean things like getting a massage or manicure. (We college students can’t afford to do that all the time). I mean things like not skipping meals, moving our bodies, getting fully dressed each day…things like that. When we get busy, things like showering can be the last thing on our minds, and students tend to get busy pretty regularly. I go more in depth in the posts linked below, so I suggest you give them a read.

7.// Change Your Working Environment

My productivity skyrockets when I change my environment. I finish my work much faster whenever I study at the library or student center than when I work in my dorm. If I get bored studying at the same spot at the library, I move somewhere else. The change of scenery energizes me enough to continue working rather than watch YouTube videos on my phone.

8.// Don’t Skip Class

Your paying for the classes anyway, so why waste the money. I’m all for a mental health day once in a while, but it’s important that you attend class, even the boring ones. College professors know that many of us skip class, so they tend to reward the ones who show up. They’ll give you extra credit and give you answers to exams (That literally happened in one of my classes.). A lot of it is about respect, but you will get more out of attending a class rather than pretending to study the material on your own. You’ll be better off by just going.

9.// No Phones Or Laptops In Class

I’ve already talked about limiting distractions, so I won’t talk about this too much. My high school provided all the students with laptops, so I’ve learned that having laptops in class can be a huge distraction. Things like YouTube and social media were blocked on them, but everyone found ways to procrastinate while using them.

When I started college, I made it a rule to never take out my laptop during class because I knew I wouldn’t pay enough attention. Technology can be an amazing way to access information, and we always plan just to look at the PowerPoint the professor posted. I don’t know about you, but I always end up tinkering around my computer, checking my email and skimming blog posts during the lecture, which is why I don’t take out my laptop. The professor has the PowePoint up on the screen anyway!

I did a good job at following this rule in the first year and a half, but I could’ve done a better job at not using technology in the classroom last year. It makes it too easy to tune out the lecture.

10.// Do All The Homework Assignments

Even the ones that your professor doesn’t grade. A lot of the information in the homework will be on the exam, so it’s much more productive to study from the homework rather than from an entire chapter of a textbook.

11.// Use Your Planner

Use any kind of planning system you want, just use one. Some people do better with digital planners, while others like bullet journaling. I have a tendency to stop using traditional planners, which is why I use a notebook to create weekly to-do lists. At the beginning of the week, I write a layout for the week and write out all the things I need/want to get done and cross things off the list as I go.

That is what works best for me, but that may not work for you. This year, choose an organization method that will keep you on track with your assignments and other responsibilities.

12.// Know Your Natural Rhythms

You know yourself. You know what times of day you are most productive and what times of day you are not. Our bodies have natural rhythms. When I wake up, I don’t have much of an appetite, so I’m better off making my bed and getting ready for the day before I eat. I prefer studying in the afternoons rather than in the morning, so I schedule all my classes near the beginning of the day. I work out in the middle of studying to give myself a productive study break.

I’ve learned how to make the most of my day based on my natural rhythms. This has made me a much better student and has allowed me to organize my time well.

One of the ways you can be a better student is to learn your natural rhythms and organize your schedule around that. You may not have the same routine I do. My roommate, for example, studies significantly more productively at night, which is why she goes takes naps intermittently throughout the day and studies a lot more at night before going to bed at around three or four (she has later classes). That’s what works for her and things might work differently for you. Figure out what times of day you are most productive and hone in on that.

Source makingmyway.co/better-student-2019/
12 Ways To Be A Better Student In 2019 - Aspirants Board

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