Considering that I finished my Bachelor/undergrad degree this spring, I know first hand how stressful university can be at times. Thankfully I've learned a few tricks during my years at university to get me going so that I could do my best, at time with the help from a great academic advisor who kicked me a certain place when needed.
As the school year is about to start or has already started a few places, I wanted to share with you a few tips to aid you at college/university (though I think some of them would be relevant for high school as well).
- Revise daily. Otherwise, you will struggle remembering what was taught during lecture the other day.
- Study for 30-50 minutes at the time (with a 10-15 minute break) is probably THE best way to learn something. You'll learn less if your mind is too "loopy".
- Turn off all distractions; yes, both social media, cell phone, laptop and what-not. You know the feeling - "I'll just quickly check Facebook" and then you have to wave goodbye to studying for at least 20 minutes. This tip isn't just for studying, it's also for lectures. You have no idea how many students with a laptop that has been on FB during a lecture..
- I might have said it indirectly in the previous tip, but pay attention during class/lecture. Facebook and other "fun" stuff can wait until a break or after the lecture is finished. It's disrespectful not only towards your teacher, but also your fellow students wasting precious time you could have used for learning.
- On test days - eat a healthy breakfast, like something with oatmeal, eggs, fruits etc. You will need something that will keep you focused and alert.
- Have a routine. It doesn't help you trying to cram everything the last week before a final exam.
- Sometimes it's important to do something you like, whether it's playing an instrument, read a book or watch a TV show (just don't binge watch TV-series).
- Exercise regulary. It will help you stay focused and relaxed.
- Eat and sleep well. No matter how much you study, it will not help if you're hungry or sleep deprived.
- Have a narrow focus while studying/revising. It's better to learn one/two things 100 per cent before moving to the next topic instead of do a shallow revising of a bucketload of stuff.
- Use mind-maps and/or flash cards to get a better overview of your topics.
- Write a list over all your assignments, supervisions, tests, deadlines and exams. It will aid you in knowing when you need to be finished. Trust me, I've heard quite a few "oh crap, is the deadline TOMORROW?".
- In terms of routines and the previous tip; write an assignment plan as well. Then you'll know when to have read what. It is not fun realizing you should have read two chapter for the lecture tomorrow just before heading to bed.
- Read relevant reading materials and/or do relevant homework before said lecture. Then, if there is something you don't understand, you'll probably get the help you need and you will in general have a lot more benefit of the lecture.
- The day before a test/exam; put all study materials away and do something fun, like have a coffee date with a friend or something. Just don't get drunk and have a big hangover on the test. If you haven't learned it until the day before the test, you probably will not to it then. It's way better to just get a proper break from the books.
- Don't be afraid to ask for help, either from the teacher(s) or fellow students.