5 Tips to Upgrade Your Study Life

Courtesy: Emma Matthews Digital Content Production

Regardless of how you are used to studying, college will change you. That’s okay! But it can be daunting trying to figure out how to adapt to your new classes and learning what you need to study efficiently. After finishing my first semester, here are the five best tips I learned to create a study habit that works for you:

1. Change up the Noise Level of Where You Study

This one is going to take a little bit of experimentation. Certain classes will end up requiring complete silence even if you have never needed this in the past, or you might end up comfortable with noise around you when you were used to complete silence. It can be annoying trying to figure out which noise level is best but adapting this each semester to fit your classes is the best thing you can do for yourself. Try a coffee shop, find a random place on campus, go through each level of the library. You’ll be surprised what a difference it makes when you find the noise level that’s perfect for you!

2. Find a Study Buddy

Accountability is key to getting your work done. Having another person with you who keeps you on track is a great tool when studying. Finding someone else in your class or a group of people, and studying together forces you to make time for classwork and gives you people to bounce questions off of. Even just finding someone you like to study with who isn’t in any of your classes is a game-changer. A study buddy is there to make sure that you’re actually working and to provide company for much-needed breaks. Try studying with your roommate or sorority sister and see how it goes, but be careful to find someone who you can really study with. The most important part of this is finding someone who you will actually get work done next to, who won’t distract you and who provides great company. Studying with friends is great but if you’re not getting any work done then you need to find a new person to work with. It’s so much easier to be accountable to yourself when there is someone else right there next to you. And when you find a good study buddy? Hold on tight and never let them go!

3. Distance Yourself From ALL Distractions

This one is the hardest for me because I procrastinate for hours by going on my phone to “check something” for an assignment and promptly get lost on Insta, Twitter and Netflix. So trust me, I get it, but we are not taking any excuses this year! Put away your phone, remove yourself from your friends, put away work for other classes and go somewhere where there is no cleaning you can use to procrastinate. I know it’s super hard but the end result is always worth it. You will get your work done so much faster for just a few hours of no phone or friends. It takes a ton of discipline but once you have it your studying will be way more productive in a fraction of the time. 

4. Create an Hourly Plan

This is my favorite tip because it’s as chill as you want it to be. I get told a lot to plan out exactly how much time I need per assignment and divide up my day and it’s good advice, it’s just not practical. I don’t know exactly how long many of my assignments will take and creating a detail-oriented list can just be more discouraging. With that being said, it’s still important to have a list. It doesn’t need to be super detailed or have exact times. Just estimate and give yourself a goal. Setting an estimated time or max amount of time for an assignment is weirdly helpful for actually starting the assignment. And seeing everything written down and listed out is a game-changer for studying. It will seriously help you. If you have a problem starting your work, this is a must-do. Having everything written out with approximate times is the best motivation ever when it comes to getting started. This is a must-have for studying well even when it’s just an incredibly basic guesstimate. 

5. Find What Motivates You to Stick to Your Plan

It’s not easy to motivate yourself to study. It takes a lot of hard work and discipline. But if you struggle to stay motivated, don’t get discouraged! You just need to find what fits for you. The best course of action is always working at intervals with breaks in between, like working for 30 minutes then breaking for 10. If you’re like me and don’t like this because you find it hard to stick to, a better method to try is dividing your assignments up and deciding which ones to break in between. That way you know that you get a break after you finish your reading, and then another one after writing your essay draft, and a final one after your lab report is submitted. This is preferable for me because it doesn’t get in the flow of things the way that set time intervals do but you still get your breaks in between. Plus, it’s like being rewarded every time you finish an assignment! Even though it’s just a small break, this is a surprisingly good way to stay motivated. The second half of it would be to have something to look forward to. Buy chocolates for when you reach break time, go on social media, watch ten minutes of the tv show you’re trying to binge. Having something you really want to do during your breaks will encourage you to work more diligently to reach them. And if you find yourself completely unmotivated, go outside and walk around for 20 minutes. Listen to music. It’s extremely helpful to take a complete mental break. Then go back to your study spot and get to work because you’ve got this!

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