Do you often find yourself coming back from winter break feeling like you forgot everything you learned in the fall? Is it even worse after summer break? Well, I can’t exactly help you with that problem, but I can give you a few tips to help get back into the swing of things.
Sleep- You probably did one of two things during break. You either slept in until noon, or got too little sleep as a whole. Either way, you need to get your sleeping schedule back on track. I’ve started setting an alarm at 10 p.m. to remind myself to finish what I’m doing and get into bed. Some nights take longer than others, but I usually get to sleep before midnight. Strive to get at least eight hours of sleep a night. According to a Stanford University study, college students should be getting over eight hours of sleep a night. Are you reaching eight hours? I know I’m not. But if we keep adjusting our schedules to fit that need, our days will be better off.
Class- First and foremost, you should pay attention in class. I find it a lot easier to listen to my professor if I doodle. I know it might seem like I’m zoned out, but by giving myself a task besides staring at the professor, I can listen more clearly and retain the information. If you have trouble listening to the professor if you’re writing down all of the notes on the board, ask him/her if you can have the PowerPoint ahead of time so you can add things to it and still pay attention. Most professors are more than willing to help you if you ask them.
Study –Paying attention in class (and actually attending) will make studying much easier. You’ll retain more information and have to study less. My favorite way to study is to use www.studyblue.com. You can make virtual flashcards and take practice quizzes. When I started using StudyBlue, my grades went up considerably. Find what works best for you and stick with it. When you graduate and are applying for jobs, you’ll be competing against others who studied well and know what they’re doing. It’s best to be a tough competitor.
Stay organized- Get a planner, even if it’s the simplest planner you can buy, or even use an app on your phone if you like technology better. I’m a Type A personality, so I have to find the perfect planner. Once school starts, I write all of my classes in and all of the assignments from the syllabus. Even if you are a Type B, just writing down what is in the syllabus and looking at your planner from time to time will save you from getting to class and realizing you forgot about the reading quiz again.
Break –Give yourself plenty of breaks. If you take college too seriously, you will miss out on some great things. Hang out with friends, go on adventures, stay in and binge-watch Netflix. Just know how to prioritize things and everything will be alright.
Not everything I say will work for everyone. If what you’re doing now isn’t working, try something new. The bottom line is that if you want to succeed this semester, you need to find the determination. I cannot make you care; only you yourself can.