As school gets into full swing again, so does the stress of homework and tests. And those are on top of — you know — life. Academics can get overwhelming. So it’s helpful to take a step back, look at what you have in front of you, and apply a few practices to make your schoolwork manageable.
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1. Get in the Right Frame of Mind
This first habit is a hard one to put into practice, but there’s one easy tip that can help you get there. Being in the mood to study or do homework will help you retain the information, and moving out of your regular space can do wonders. Go to a library, quiet coffee shop, or even a different room in the house. It can be anywhere, as long as it’s someplace with minimal distractions and a calm vibe to ease the pain of having to do work.
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2. Take Notes
It may be advice you’re tired of receiving, but taking handwritten notes does help cement ideas in your mind. Even if you’re studying on your own time from a book or something online, taking notes on that material will also give you a resource that’s much easier to refer back to. And the whole point of taking notes is getting down the key pieces of information. Don’t stress yourself out over getting everything on the page.
3. Stay Organized
Make a plan for your work. Space it out in manageable chunks so as not to overwhelm yourself with a lot of work at one time. And when you make sure your assignments, books, and documents are all in the right place, you won’t lose your place.
4. Get Some Sleep and Stay Healthy
People may tell you they do fine on very little sleep, but they’ll eventually let something fall through the cracks or just burn out. Getting the full recommended eight hours (or even a little less) will do wonders for your motivation and morale. Eating healthy meals does too. As much as you might enjoy inhaling burgers and burritos, it will destroy your energy if you do it all the time.
5. Know What’s Necessary
Know what work is necessary for each of your classes. Some syllabuses point out exactly what you need to do to get a good grade, and doing a lot more than necessary may just detract from your other pursuits and disrupt your school/work/life balance. It can be rewarding to go above and beyond, but often, there’s strength in knowing where to just be content with your effort. Be careful here, though. Don’t let your classmates convince you to blow off studying for an “easy” math test if math is your weakest subject, for example. There’s a fine balance to strike, but this tip could save you lots of unnecessary stress.
What are some of your favorite study habits? Let us know in the comments below!