Hey, pretty! I know, student life can be really tough (especially if you are working and learning at the same time). It’s difficult to develop the discipline and use your time wisely, but if it comforts you a bit – the bigger part of students always have trouble maintaining their social and study lives.
When I was a student, I’ve been guilty (way too often!) of spending too many nights out in the town rather than in the library. My grades suffered and I knew I had to find a better life & study balance.
After trying many ideas, finally, some tricks helped me study in a more effective way. Thanks to them (and coffee ♡) I’ve found myself keeping good grades and I’m proud to say that I finished my exams without losing my head.
So how do you reign it in and become a successful student? Here are 7 ways to do just that!
1. Read Ahead
This may sound like a boring suggestion but I have a trick that can make it easier to do. I noticed that since I am usually on my phone googling one thing or the other, I might as well put in five minutes of online research before a specific lecture or class.
By reading ahead, I do not mean that you have a full on study session. Rather read ahead to prepare your mind for what you are going to learn. Spending these five minutes on minor research actually helps you understand better during your lectures and form your own interpretation. Simple and effective!
2. Take Notes
Taking notes is crucial if you want to succeed as a student. By taking notes you are able to highlight the important lessons or outcomes that are expected from your studies.
My student hack for this is to use multicolored sticky notes or highlighters when going through a course reading. I had a simple system where I used green notes for things that I may not understand or need to ask about, yellow notes for interesting or quotable facts and pink notes for major points.
Also, try to make your notes as neat and organized as possible. Structure your information – use bullet lists, numbered lists, draw information hierarchy and tables. These will help you absorb information much easier than with messy and unorganized notes.
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Hey, pretty! Want to keep your notes super organized this year? Check out my bestselling printable notes pack – it features 10 different layouts and, of course, the heart paper (I somehow can’t live without the heart paper, seriously).
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I found that simply studying well-made notes before a test helped me to perform much better than just reading a book. Note taking also helps you internalize and analyze the important lessons in your studies.
3. Schedule Study Time
You definitely have to schedule study time if you want to succeed in your studies. The demands of different course units can be very overwhelming – especially if you do not have a good plan. Scheduling study time can be easy if you follow this trick:
Schedule study time very early in the morning. I prefer studying at least three times a week from 5 AM to 7 AM and I also try to make sure that study time is only between Tuesday and Friday so that I can have my own free time without rushing to finish class work.
This can let you study for an adequate amount of time and complete your assignments without distractions from your roommates. Also, you get the studying part out of the way so that you can focus on other things such as work or extracurricular activities.
4. Schedule Fun Time
You know what they say…
You have to schedule some time for social and other activities. Make a light schedule that will allow you to factor in your classes, work and partying (yes girl, you’re young – go for them parties!).
Just make sure to make a conscious decision on when and how you will enjoy yourself. In my experience, finishing all study related activities by Thursday evening every week allows you to keep your weekends free for your own personal time.
5. Ask Questions
Student life is about confidence and having the ability to question and challenge existing ideas. Every good student must be able to ask questions to show that they are thinking about their answers and that they are internalizing their studies.
If you are not big on public speaking, go ahead and send emails with your questions to instructors. My life hack for this is to set a goal to ask at least one question every week for every course unit. I found that having such a goal motivated me to pay more attention in class and ask questions that are more intelligent!
6. Plan for Success
You can only achieve success by having the right tools with you. As I mentioned earlier, having good note-taking sheets is one of the crucial tools. I use these sheets in literally every aspect of my life and while these are not the exact templates I used when I was a student, they’re even better! Taking up the note taking habit can be beneficial in your life overall since it helps you stay organized.
If you want to get serious about your study and achieve the best results, raise yourself some goals. Here are a few printable goal planners to help you set achievable goals throughout the year (and not only in your study life!):
7. Rest and grow
As a student, you have to develop the ability to assess yourself and grow personally. Remember – the goal is to become a mature and successful adult in the society. Learning things, staying organized, taking proper rest and staying socially active will help you reach that goal easily. However, do not forget to care for your body, mind and soul too.
If you feel like there’s a lot of going on and you need to ‘put things in places’, a great way to do that is to practice self care and intentionally let go of your anxieties. Lack of proper self care can make you feel drained while stewing in unhelpful thoughts can leave you just plain depressed. If you want to achieve the best results in your study life, never put your own wellbeing in a second place.
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Any thoughts or tips? Share in a comment down below! Good luck! Amber