Health fields differ greatly, but there are some solid strategies that you can apply for academic success across the board.
Being a college student can be challenging: It involves countless hours studying, taking exams, researching and writing papers.
Your schedule will be full and finding time for everything may seem impossible, so we pulled together these tips to help you make the most of your study time, so you can have your best academic year ever.
Manage your time wisely
- Have set library hours. Start a routine of going to the library to study and do coursework for at least an hour or two a day—or a few hours a few days a week. The exciting thing about college is that your schedule is up to you, but that means that you also need to hold yourself responsible for doing the not-so-fun parts of college life. A routine will help studying become a regular part of your life rather than something you have to force yourself to do instead of other more fun activities.
- Don’t procrastinate. Trust us, it’s not worth it. Do your homework soon after it’s assigned and get started on projects long before their due dates!
- Promote health by being healthy. Movies and TV shows may glamorize all-nighters and a diet of greasy pizza and coffee, but you know better than that! A healthy body is a well-functioning body so make sure that even when you’re at your busiest, you’re still eating your fruits and vegetables, hydrating (with water, not just caffeine-laden drinks!) and taking breaks for a quick walk to get your blood flowing. You may feel like you don’t have time for all of this but your future self will thank you for realizing the importance of wellness, especially during times of stress.
- Set goals. You’re likely taking multiple classes and balancing personal responsibilities as well. You have a lot to get done and the best way to ensure it’s all finished in a timely manner is to know your priorities and set a timeline to get them done.
Do the work
- Know what kind of learner you are. Neil Fleming’s VARK model breaks learners into four categories: visual learners, auditory learners, read/write learners and kinesthetic learners. Knowing how you learn best will help you to ensure that you’re studying in a way that helps you grasp concepts and retain knowledge. The VARK Questionnaire can help give you some insight into your learner type.
- Do the readings. Don’t just do the reading before class—take notes while reading as well. This ensures you stay focused while reading and also gives you a way to refresh before class.
- Take notes. Jot down any helpful insight professors share during class and note example problems, theories and the like that could help you understand your readings once you don’t have the professor in front of you.
Use your resources
- Get by with a little help from your friends. If you have to study, might as well do it with friends! Forming a study group will give you accountability partners and might make this necessity of academic life a little more fun, too.
- Find support. Your college of choice wants you to succeed so they offer the resources you’ll need to do so. Look for an Academic Support Center—note that it may go by another name at your college or university—since that’s where you’ll find coaches, tutors and counselors who would love to help you gain the skills you need for academic success.
- Learn from the best. Having a mentor—someone who has experience in your field and has been where you are — can help you when you have specific questions or when you’re trying to plan your career in general. Learn how to find a mentor.