How to Be Successful in College
Effective learning is one of the most useful skills today. Choose the right place to study, which will not distract you, take only necessary things with you, and do not forget about a positive attitude. Note-taking and the use of mnemonic techniques will help improve the perception and memorization of the material. Consolidate new knowledge through practical work on them or discuss it with friends. External factors are also crucial in effecticious learning (correct schedule, the presence of breaks, healthy lifestyle). In addition, do not forget to consolidate new habits with awards, it will greatly speed up your learning process. By incorporating at least a few of these tips into your practice, you will certainly feel the results and improve your college grades. These college tips are suitable both for academic studies and for self-education.
Use the Right Mental Attitude
Many people regard learning as something that they “need” to do yet not as an exciting process or just a good opportunity to learn something. Of course, such an approach cannot give high results and satisfaction from the process. Here are some ways to improve your educational attitude.
- Try to think positively while studying and do not forget to remind yourself of your skills and abilities.
- Avoid defeated thinking. Instead of thinking: “I don’t have enough time to prepare for the exam,” say to yourself: “If I start learning right now, I’ll have time to learn most of the material.”
- Prevent absolutist thinking. Instead of thinking: “I never succeed in anything,” try a more objective approach: “I did not do it well last time. What to do now to make it better?”;
- Avoid comparing yourself with anyone. Remember, your skills and abilities are unique.
Choose the Proper Place
The substantial majority of people make the mistake of practicing in places that have nothing in common with proper concentration. Places with numerous distractions are not suitable for studying. For example, if you try to study in a student dormitory room, the computer, television, or your roommates will almost certainly be more interesting than the educational material. You need a place where you can concentrate and which will motivate for studying. Library reading room or a quiet coffee shop are great spaces for that.
Take Only Necessary Things
Unfortunately, many people, even finding the right place, make the mistake of taking unnecessary and even harmful things with them. For example, it seems an ideal option to take a laptop with you. However, as it was said, the computer is a very strong distraction. Think if you really need it so much? Perhaps it would be better to take the old school notebook and pen. In addition, a handwritten letter uses the motor memory. The same applies to the phone and other electronic gadgets. However, do not forget to take everything you need (books, notebooks, etc.).
It is well known that taking notes helps to make sense of the text and to remember it. You cannot rewrite everything, which means you will have to highlight the main thing, to focus attention on it, and thus to memorize it. It is crucial to write material in your own words. All people are unique in how they perceive information and create images and associations for memorization. Therefore, even if you rewrite someone else's article, try to do it in your own words. You can use various note-taking techniques. Use as many sensory systems as you can to memorize. When you write, the visual and motor memory works. You can also read the text aloud; it will help connect the hearing.
Use Mnemonic Techniques
Mnemonic techniques are techniques that reliably store data using various associations. For example, if you need to memorize a series of words, create a story with hem. The more awkward it is, the easier it will be remembered. Alternatively, you can create acronyms. Another popular technique is the creation of memory palaces (or the method of Cicero). Use the well-known background, and then “attach” images to objects that you need to remember.
Practice Alone or With Friends
Just reading right material is not enough. To assimilate it for a long time, you must practice not only memorization but also reproduction, as well as applying it in real life (for example, solving problems). After reading the text and highlighting the main thing in it, try to retell it immediately. You can also use the questions that usually come at the end of the chapter or practice with flashcards.
Another good way to improve memorization and understanding of the material is group work. Collective discussion helps to understand all the difficult moments, structure knowledge, and memorize information. You can explore the whole unit and then discuss it together or let everyone learn one particular point, and then explain it to everyone else. Among other things, this approach gives more motivation. Do not gather a too large group, 4-5 (and even 2) people will be more than enough.
Create a Schedule
Many people regard learning as something that can be done in your free time, or when the moment just comes. Nevertheless, if you plan your self-education in the same way as you do at college or university, you will find more advantages in this activity, especially in perspective. You do not need to have a 12-hour marathon before the exam if you spend half an hour every day a month before. Remember, regularity is of the first magnitude for effective studying. You can spend time studying every day or study twice a week, but do it all the time. Just create and follow your personal study plan.
Many people perceive study as something routine and not giving a direct result, and therefore they try to avoid it. Of course, this is not quite the right viewpoint. Introducing awards to your educational practice will change this attitude and increase your motivation. If you successfully cope with the task, you may reward yourself. It can be a delicious dessert, an extra 30 minutes of a computer game, or a new episode of your favorite TV show. In general, you need a small but real reward for your efforts. It will not only increase the immediate motivation to learn but also allow you to consolidate the habits that you are implementing.
Human attention and the ability to concentrate it is a very unstable thing. Studies have shown that its performance falls after 20-25 minutes of work. These are the intervals you should allocate to the active study of the material. Take a break of no more than 5 minutes. At this time, the brain will not just relax but also consolidate the information received and transfer it to a long-term memory. It is better to take a short walk, letting thoughts flow freely. Do not be distracted by checking social networks.
Keep Balance and Be Conscious of Your Health
Spending all the time on study is as unwise as fully concentrating on entertainment. As a result, something will inevitably tire you, and you will feel dissatisfaction. Maintain a healthy balance in all areas of life; it will make each of its components more successful. Be sure to take time for friends, family, hobbies, and other interests.
Another factor that has a significant impact on your success is health. Proper nutrition and regular exercise affect cognitive abilities. For example, even a one-time training improves protein synthesis, which is involved in the work of memory. The brain needs enough energetic substances, so fasting is not a good option for it. You do not have to look for any complicated diet or spend a lot of hours in the gym. It is enough to eat regularly and engage in fitness at least twice a week.
First, achieve one small goal. Divide the long-term goal into several short-term ones. Now you just need to achieve one of them. This is an important thing because it allows you to feel that you have become better, have reached a new level. Gamification is very popular now and not by chance. In the game, motivation appears as if by itself, you do not need to look for it and carve it out of stone. Find the right music. Many people neglect this piece of advice, but they are terribly mistaken. What is the main thing in training? The answer is complete concentration. Download music that has no words and try to work for a few hours. If it is your perfect option, use this playlist more often.
Proper nutrition is another component of the lifestyle of a productive student who always has enough time for everything. The body must receive the necessary amount of vitamins, minerals, and trace elements that ensure its stable functioning. The brain "loves" potatoes, legumes, nuts, sugar, and starch in acceptable standards. Having provided your organism with all the necessary resources, you will be able to maintain vigor and activity throughout the day.
Spend some time on reading useful and interesting books. It is better to find a minimum of 30 minutes for this activity. While reading, a person is relaxing. He or she increases the efficiency of the brain. In addition, reading contributes to better concentration, the development of imagination, analytical and imaginative thinking, broadening horizons, self-development, and personal growth. It is easy to spend half an hour on a book, and if you include it in your list of tasks, another completed task will appear in it, and you will be happy with yourself again.
Use these college tips new semester to be a successful student.