By Richard Nzekwu*
It is no secret that the life of a university student can often be mercurial and stressful. With constant deadlines, assessments, and assignments it is easy for students to experience a “burn out” at certain points during the school year. In order to aid ELGS students in getting the best out of their academic experiences, here are some quick study tip reminders:
- Take Breaks
It is very easy for students to keep pushing themselves to meet certain deadlines in their schoolwork. Working for long stretches without resting often contributes to exhaustion and stress. Taking breaks revitalizes the mind and makes one more creative and motivated. Even just a 5 minute walk or stretch is useful – especially if you have been sitting for a while.
- Eat healthy foods / Stay hydrated
When studying or working, we are inclined to stay up later than usual trying to get as much as possible done. Consequently, we may not eat or drink as well as we should. Healthy eating enables us to feel good and concentrate better. It is important to maintain a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, proteins, and carbohydrates in order to give the body the fuel it needs to cope with work demands. It is also essential to drink water constantly throughout the day. Additionally, it is imperative that you reduce the amount of “Fast Foods” or other high fat sugar foods you consume!
- Do not procrastinate. Plan Ahead
Too often in our work, we opt to put off certain assignments till when the deadline is fast approaching, and then we frantically rush to get things done. Before long, this becomes a habit and we can easily find ourselves stuck in a frustrating and unproductive cycle. In order to combat this, it is important to plan and start assignments well ahead of the deadline. Guage the length of time necessary to complete an assignment and start work early enough (a few weeks or several days before the deadline).
This ensures that tasks do not pile up and you are not struggling to finish everything all at once, thus adding to the stress. Finishing tasks early also frees up our time and makes us feel happier, more relaxed, and accomplished!
- Organize Study Groups with Friends
Everyone is different: some people love studying in groups; others prefer to study alone. While subject to personal preference, there are benefits to studying in groups with friends. Studying with others can enable you to retain information more. For example, if there is a concept you do not understand, one of the other members of the group can explain it to you in a way that makes it register better. Studying alone can be monotonous and dry; joining a study group gives you something different to look forward to, thus stimulating your mood positively and possibly enabling you to study better. Additionally, studying in groups provides an opportunity for you to ensure that there aren’t any crucial pieces of information you may have missed in your notes. By comparing notes with friends, you can fix any errors and get ideas for better note-taking next time!
- Ask Questions
Asking questions is essential to building understanding and competence. Research shows that asking questions makes you more likely to remember the information received on that question. Your question will be based on something that interests you, and as a result, you will be interested in the answer. Asking questions also enables you to discover a newer or even more helpful perspective to tackle certain concepts you find difficult. Furthermore, the answer you receive for a question may help you in another related area that you find challenging. It is always better to ask now than to later wish you had done so when you had the chance!
- Constantly Review Notes
Another “best-practice” for studying is to review your notes as soon as possible (and to do so constantly)! Reviewing notes hours to a day after a lecture enables you to retain information well. As you continue to review as the days go by, you retain even more. Additionally, while reviewing your notes, you may also choose to include additional information that will help you later in studying for tests.Make it a habit to review your notes; don’t just wait till an assessment approaches!
These study tips will help you take care of yourself and help you get the best out of your academic experience at the ELGS!