Your college years are an exciting, yet stressful time. So much is going on around you and it can become overwhelming if you’re not prepared. The good news is you can learn from the experience of others. Over time, students just like yourself, have come up with helpful life hacks to help you survive the college years and have fun doing it.
Slow and Steady: Instead of cramming an entire textbook’s worth of knowledge into one study session break it up and study small chunks. Your brain can only retain so much of the information you feed it during one study session. If you were to hear a string of numbers, you’d be able to repeat somewhere between seven and ten of them, but the rest would likely be lost. It’s the same with the information you study. Overall, your brain has a large capacity for memory, but only if it’s not overloaded with all the information at one time. This means you can’t wait until the last minute to study. Spread your study sessions out and take it piece by piece. You’ll remember much more if you do it this way.
Rest: All nighters are a terrible mistake. Avoid them. Don’t spend the time you should be sleeping cramming for a final. You might think you’re doing the right thing, but you’re not. Lack of sleep turns your brain to mush. You’ll lose focus, get confused, and be unable to remember what you learned if you don’t get the proper rest your body needs.
Give Yourself Variety: Studying the same topic for hours is incredibly boring. Eventually, you’ll lose interest and your mind will begin to drift. Add some variety to keep things exciting and you’ll find that you can stay interested and focused longer.
Change Location: Your brain makes associations that you aren’t even aware of. Those associations are why a memory comes rushing back to you when you smell a specific perfume or walk into a room you haven’t been in for a while. Your brain will create an association and memory that’s attached to your studying session. By switching up locations, you create two distinct associations, and therefore two different memories. This makes it easier to recall when you’re taking an exam. So, the next time you study a topic you’ve already researched, go to a coffee shop or the library instead of staying in your dorm room.
Time Management Hacks
Make a to-do List: Having a list of things you need to accomplish in a day or week will help you tackle them in a more efficient manner. When making your list, always put the most important tasks at the top. We tend to avoid the things we dread the most, procrastinating and making excuses when we should be completing the task. Checking your most important tasks off the list first is vital. Time can get away from you, and things can come up unexpectedly. There are a million reasons and excuses you can find throughout the day to put off a specific task, but if you complete those particular tasks first you won’t give yourself that chance.
Don’t be Afraid to Say “No”
Your college years isn’t all about work. People definitely make a lot of lasting friendships and wonderful memories during that time. However, you shouldn’t indulge in those fun moments when you really need to study or get rest before a big exam. Pick your moments. Go out with your friends, live life, and create memories but not when it’ll hurt you in the long run. Make smart choices, and don’t be afraid to say no sometimes. Your friends will still be there the next time you want to go out.
Shut Out Distractions
This is obvious, but so many students don’t do it. Set aside a designated study time and make sure that’s all your mind is focused on. Turn your phone to silent and don’t check your email, respond to texts, or check Facebook until you’re completely finished. It’s far too easy to get distracted and procrastinate, so it’s best to remove all distractions completely, even if that means putting your phone in a drawer until you’re finished with your session.
These hacks won’t make college easy all the time, but they’ll certainly help you stay sane, get better grades, and manage your time more efficiently. For even more helpful tips to enhance your college experience, please contact us.