So, Your Study Habits Have Already Failed… Ways to Realistically Study This Fall

At the beginning of every semester, we all tell ourselves the same thing: this time, we’ll study. This time, we’re going to color coordinate all of our notes. This time, we’ll make flashcards. This time, we’ll make our own Quizlets.

But, it’s week five and you’re already slipping. Your first exams are coming up and you haven’t studied for them at all. Trust me, I am right there with you. So, I’ve come up with a couple of actually realistic ways to help you study this Fall that might work.

  1. 1. Adjust Your Time Management

    Yeah, I know.  No one wants to talk about it. But, it’s not what you think. Take the time to figure out which classes you’re struggling in and make more time to study for those. If there’s a class that you’re doing well in, go ahead and write that essay the night of. But if you’re prepping for an organic chemistry exam, I would actually sit down and study. Also, take breaks! Your brain will turn to mush at some point and you cannot just sit down and study for six hours. Trust me, I’ve tried— more than once. Do a couple of hours of studying and then...I don’t know...catch up on the awesome articles the girls have posted on Her Campus at UMKC for other helpful tips.

  2. 2. Invest in a Study Group

    Stop. Before you hit up your very best friend in the whole world and say, “Wanna go grab a coffee and study?” actually sit back and think. Will you get work done if you study with them or will you just goof off the whole time? Choose someone who you can be around but still focus on your homework. Honestly, I still have trouble with this one because I would much rather be with my best friend and say we’re going to study, when we both know that we won’t.

  3. 3. Keep Up With Your Planner

    Oh no, I’m calling myself out with this one. Make sure that you write down every assignment, every event, every meeting now and then —here’s the hard part— you have to look at the planner every day to plan ahead. You don’t want to forget about a major essay that’s due tomorrow just because you didn’t look at your planner this entire week.

  4. 4. Know When To Say “No”

    We are very busy people. More than likely, in addition to being a student, you’re also working a job (or two) and are in a few student organizations. So, the free time when you can actually study is slim enough. Do not add more to your plate than you know you can handle. Make sure that you leave more than enough time to study, because come October and come December, you’re going to need that extra time to prepare for the larger tests and essays. If you get asked to step up to an officer position and you can't, just say no. If your boss asks if you want an extra shift but you’ve got an exam on Monday? Say no, even if it means that you don’t get the few extra hours so you can buy the next Apple...whatever. 

Honestly, this may not work for everyone. Everyone has different ways of succeeding. I hope this will help a lot of people in any shape or form. However, you know yourself best so  just do what is best for you and your mental health.