As we slowly kick-off one more year of uni life, we’re also still processing the events and adventures of the past several months, so studying might not be the very first thing on your mind. Sooner or later, you need to go back to your regular pace and restore order to your study habits so as to make sure that you have ample time to take on a part-time job, volunteer if you want, and of course, let’s not forget about self-care and tons of fun.
Balance is hard to create when you’re an eager student, but some methods work better than others. Of course, maybe not all of these will apply to every single one of you out there, but you can mix and match them, blend them with your own methods, and make the most of your study time to free up the rest of your uni days for those extracurriculars!
Divide and conquer
In order to learn a language, you cannot simply memorize an entire dictionary and consider things done. No matter if you’re studying the human anatomy or you’re a history major, you need to divide all of your subject matter into meaningful chunks that you can actually process, master, and move on. So, before you sit down and simply start covering hours of lectures, you should take the time to divide your study material based on chapters, difficulty, relevance, as well as methods of learning you’ll need to apply.
Languages need to be practiced, so you might need a study partner to work on your Spanish, while perhaps a solitary study session is a better option when you’re figuring out how to remember all the English monarchs from a certain period. These divisions shouldn’t be arbitrary, so take your time to create segments that make sense for you.
Rely on trusted notes
Yes, you should definitely attend your classes, take notes and focus on what your professors point out as the most relevant bits of knowledge. However, you should keep in mind that others have been in your shoes before you, and successfully passed these exams. So, why not learn from your predecessors? For example, you can look into student-made WACE notes and rely on them for your own studies, so that you can fill the gaps of missing details from your own notes.
Alternatively, you can exchange notes with your friends from school, compare and contrast, and see if you’ve missed anything important. Note-taking skills are essential for your education, but until you’re certain you’ve mastered this art, you can look for supportive material made by your fellow students, too.
Use tech to your advantage
Once upon a time, our parents and their parents had to rely on their diaries and notebooks to schedule their study sessions. While some of you may still enjoy this old-school approach, you should at the very least consider other, more advanced options that can help you simplify your time management during your school years.
For example, Trello is a simple project management tool you can use for scheduling your studying sessions, homework assignments, time at the library, research hours, etc. You can also use apps that reduce distractions by limiting your access to a range of websites (including social media) when you know you’ll be too tempted by all those notifications and cute puppy videos.
Fuel up your study sessions
There are few things worse than forcing yourself to study on an empty stomach! You’ll be irritable, lose focus quickly, you’ll get tired fast, and you won’t be able to retain any relevant information without thinking about food. So, sustenance matters! Make sure that you have access to a pile of healthy snacks that will not only keep your belly full, but that will provide you exactly the kind of nutrition needed for long-lasting focus and energy.
For instance, satiating energy balls made of dates, nuts, and seeds will provide you with plenty of instant as well as lasting energy. Not to mention that they are tasty, so you’ll curb all of those unwanted sugar cravings. Add a cup of joe to the mix, and you’ll be ready to rock for hours on end.
Take study breaks and move it
Finally, sometimes your study sessions depend more on what you don’t do. Just like those divided chapters and study materials let you study in increments that are suitable for you and your subjects, taking regular breaks is essential for actually retaining all of that vital information.
During those breaks, make sure you take a brief walk, do some stretching, or even head out for a run. Allowing yourself to move will help you restore your focus and your energy when the time comes to go back to your dorm and continue studying.
Sometimes, your exam success will depend on your munchies, at other times, you’ll need to rely on your ability to prioritize study material. Make sure to keep refining your study methods and open your mind for new ideas, so that you can ace all of your upcoming exams and make the most of your education for future success.