We’ve all heard the normal “how to survive college” tips – don’t procrastinate, don’t make ramen your entire food pyramid, actually sleep once in a while…the list goes on. But, how many of us actually take those to heart? When’s the last time you ate a meal that didn’t consist of pizza? So, here’s some college tips that you’ll actually use, and not forget about two weeks into school.
1. Master the art of skim-reading.
There’s always those weeks in college with two exams and three papers due, and there isn’t enough time to read that article for your humanities class. It’s on days like this where skim-reading saves the day. Make sure you read the headings of each section and the first sentence of each paragraph, and skim through the rest of the text to get a general idea about what it’s saying. This way, you’ll have a good idea what will come up during the class discussion, but you don’t spend too much time trying to decipher every word.
2. Study the morning before an exam, not the night before.
This might seem a little counter-intuitive, but it works, as long as you don’t have a job interview you have to be super alert for the next afternoon. It’s better to go to bed early and get up at 3 AM to go over the material than stay up until 3 AM and drag yourself to your exam still half-asleep. When you study in the wee hours of the morning, the information seems to get in your brain better. Plus, you’re already in the mindset of whatever subject you’re studying, and ready to go when the exam rolls around.
3. If studying for an exam is freaking you out…don’t.
Mental health is always the most important. If you’re on the verge of having a breakdown because you just can’t memorize all the elements of the periodic table, sometimes it’s better to stop and wing it. This is not a PSA to stop studying altogether, but when it gets severely overwhelming, don’t push yourself or put too much pressure on yourself to do it. A bad grade on a test isn’t the end of the world. Heck, a bad grade in a class isn’t the end of the world either.
4. Have study music that you like.
Contrary to popular belief, sometimes having soft classical music in the background will make you fall asleep…especially when it’s late at night and there’s a deadline in 30 minutes. Having a playlist filled with music you love that gets you pumped will make working a million times better.
5. Anything can get done the night before.
When a professor tells you something can’t be finished the night before, they’re lying. Anything can be finished the night before with enough focus and motivation. However, don’t save everything for the night before. If you’re trying to finish three essays in two hours, it won’t be pretty. But if it’s absolutely necessary, don’t worry about putting something off to the night before. If you concentrate, you can do it.