College is a learning experience in more ways than one. Just as you will learn new things pertaining to your major everyday you will also begin uncovering new things about yourself. Which dining hall is your favorite, what food can you get away with eating exclusively for a whole week, how do you tackle laundry day in your new apartment or dorm? One of the most useful things you will learn is are the little tips and tricks that help make you the most effective student you can be.
Last semester I really struggled with finding a balance between all my school work, extracurriculars, and personal time. After to spending so long struggling with this, I’ve identified a couple of things that I can change or do differently in this new semester that will hopefully make me a more effective and happy student!
First off, my time management was less than stellar. Not knowing how to prioritize assignments or divvy up my time between my extracurriculars led to no small amount of headaches across the semester. Things like Google Calendar are great for staying on top of deadlines and I’ve already made a commit to be more diligent recording my deadlines/important dates. I still need a tool to plan how my day to day would go so I’ve begun making use of a physical agenda! I take time every morning to get an overview of my month or week and then scribble in the things are should I work on or knock out any given day. With the foresight of what my day should look like, responsibilities have been less successful in creeping up on me and stressing me out.
My practices within the classroom have also changed quite a bit. Last semester my laptop would serve as more of a distraction more than a useful note taking tool. Since having my notes in a digital format was still important to me, I’ve been giving a new stationary invention a try. The Rocket Book is essentially a reusable notebook. You can write on it as normal, scan and upload your notes to somewhere on the web, and then wipe down the notebook and till you have a blank, new notebook again! Using this has really forced me to remain engaged in lectures and has definitely helped in my backpack lighter.
The most drastic change I’ve made this semester has been to my waking and sleeping hours. I had to spend a lot of time in the wee early hours of the morning (anywhere from 1 AM to 5 AM) in order to get some assignments done. Looking back, though, has become very clear that I wasn’t my most productive during those times and that my sweet spot (surprisingly) for productivity typically lies between 8 AM and 12 PM. So lately, I’ve been forcing myself to cut study nights short in favor of an earlier wake up time. So far the strategy has been working out greatly in my favor; I get to knock some things out of my day before my day very well and truly kicks off.
Making note of things that work and don’t work for you as a student is one of the many keys to success in college. I hope this blog can give some insight and tips into the self-reflection necessary to be a more effective student!