Hello my beautiful friends! This time last year I was a university senior excited to make it through her last year! It’s so hard to believe! It was a bittersweet time because my undergraduate career was coming to an end, and I had so much to look forward to in my future. There are a few things I wish I had done differently, but I am blessed and proud of my accomplishments!
The past four years have equipped me with expert tips on how to make it through each semester. It’s important to adopt and practice good study and life skills from the beginning to ensure smoother sailing during rough final and exam periods when time seems non-existent! Here are a few of my tried and true tips to help you ace this semester!
Make a schedule
Whether it’s strict or loose, it’s always good to have a general idea of what will happen each day or during the week or the month. I have found that using a schedule keeps me on track to complete assignments on time. It also allows me to able to more efficiently use my time. If there is some concert or game that I want to go to, I have all of my upcoming tasks and events in one place so I can make a quick and informed decision to go or not.
Connect with professors
It’s so important to form a good relationship with at least a few of your professors. Go to office hours from the beginning and show an interest in the class and your grade. When it’s time for recommendations, you will have some professors who know you and can speak to your passions and strengths. Keep in contact even after the class ends, and it’s even better to make connections with professors who are in your future professional field.
Even though most professors reserve the first class for reviewing the syllabus, always run through briefly before starting classes. Be aware of all the class policies and structure of exams and grading scale. Most professors include assignment due dates and exam dates in their schedule breakdown for the semester, so add these to your own calendar and schedule!
Figure out your study style
It’s better to know how you study best from the beginning than to wait till final exam week to realize you’re studying ineffectively. There are so many different ways to study whether using flashcards, re-writing notes, watching videos, teaching others or re-reading notes. Find what works, and stick with it!
Study early and often
Reviewing often and consistently will make your life 100% easier! For me, when I see the material more often, I’ll be more likely to remember it. Review your notes after class or at the end of the day, or even at the end of the week. This way when exams roll around, you won’t need to relearn the material, but just review to remember even the small details.
Protect study time
Do not compromise study time! If you aren’t able to study at the scheduled time, move around some things to make time. The only way to remember the material is to study, so ensure you leave enough time in your schedule to study!
Find a comfy study spot
I am a serious nester! I need to be extremely comfortable in my study environment so I can focus all of my energy and attention on retaining the material. Whether it be at home, in the library, at a coffee shop or in i-hop, find a comfy place where you won’t be distracted.
Form study groups (if that’s your thing)
I utilize study groups as a second resource. I usually ensure that I know at least 85% or the material before participating in a study group to ensure that I can contribute to the discussion. I learn through continuously reading and teaching others; the more I read and recite, the more i’ll remember. Use study groups, if that’s your thing, to teach and quiz your classmates.
Scope out clubs to join
Even though this post is focused on academics and grades, it’s super important to have a healthy social life, well as healthy and social as our exams and assignments allow you to be. Go out and meet new people. Engage in new, safe and exciting social activities. There are so many options in many schools for clubs or greek life that you can be a part of. Not only is it important for your mental well-being, it looks amazing on your resume! Enjoy this time while you still can; it’s not all about grades, but how well you use your experiences, both academic and social, to enhance your intelligence and overall ‘well-rounded-ness’.
Don’t forget to eat! Stay active as much as you can. Most schools have gyms with free classes like yoga and bootcamp. Take advantage of these!! Practice self-care and surround yourself with positive and encouraging images, people and environments.
Other key tips
Connect with your academic adviser and department adviser to help plan out your academic career, stay true to your dream and vision for your future, choose classes and register early to ensure you get the classes you want, get meaningful volunteer and intern experiences early and don’t sweat the small stuff!
Be proud of yourself, take pride in your work and always strive for better!
Be happy and healthy my loves!