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Study Habits and Tips for Tricky Courses 

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UNH chapter.

Studying for a tricky course like neurology or anatomy can seem daunting and even impossible. Like when you’re in a class where the professor lectures 50 to 100 slides in an hour and you’re trying to keep up with your note taking, but ultimately accept defeat and start online shopping for the rest of class. As a college junior, I’ve already been there quite a few times, and have had a number of “I can’t do this” moments. 

If you’re lucky enough that your professor posts their slides or, even better, their recorded lectures, take advantage of that. It definitely is difficult to keep up with notes in class, but being able to go at your own pace when you find time after your lecture to fill in the gaps will help for success. If your professor posts lectures, I suggest watching them and pausing as needed, filling in your notes as you go. Note taking at a slower pace will allow you to grasp the information and also refresh your mind from what you heard in lecture. If the lectures are not posted, professors usually have most of the information on their slides that can be useful to go through as an alternative to the recorded lecture. I personally prefer to handwrite my notes, as I find I am able to retain the information better.

Courses that contain a lot of material tend to weigh heavily on tests for the majority of your grade. This can be scary if you consider yourself a bad test taker. If you have a smaller major, making friends to study with and share overall support is a game changer for getting yourself through tough classes. I am a communication sciences and disorders major, which is a smaller major that I have found some of my best friends in, and they make studying for difficult exams much easier. Larger majors can be more difficult to find quality friends and study partners in, but asking around for people looking for a study group can help. I find studying with peers and talking out the study guide to be one of my most beneficial studying habits. My friends and I like to create study schedules starting a week before the exam to allow enough time to efficiently get everything we need to get done. Another perk to studying with peers is holding each other accountable and encouraging one another. Teaching your friend, roommate or even a parent about a certain topic can help show you what topics you have down and what topics you need to work on. 

Studying is not a one-size-fits-all situation. What works for me may not work for you, but it is important to find a groove that works early on in your studies. I have found that my study habits have worked especially well for me throughout my time at school, while also allowing me to find enough time to balance everything else going on in my life. Balancing studies with having fun is extremely important, as overworking yourself will not work for anyone. At the end of the day — as cliche as it sounds — your hard work will pay off. The success that comes from your hard work will motivate you to keep going. The want to give up can feel so strong when you are experiencing a stressful amount of course load, but as long as you find a groove and what works for you, you can accomplish hard things.

Amy is a junior at the University of New Hampshire studying communication sciences and disorders. Amy was born and raised in Rhode Island and went to East Greenwich High School, where she was Varsity captain of her women's fastpitch softball team. She has been a camp counselor for five years, with one year as Camp Supervisor, creating a fun and safe environment for a wide array of ages. She has a deep passion for working with children and finds them inspiring as they teach her lots about patience and looking at the world in new and exciting ways. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, writing, and being by the water.