Healthy study habits let you balance social, academic life


You know how to do this. You’ve done it since you were in grade school. You must know how to do it well if you are attending this University in the fall. 

You know how to study. 

But do you know how to study in college?

There are lots of things that will distract you. Formals, sporting events or just a night at one of the campus bars are just a few things that will get in the way of studying.

Now I’m not saying that you shouldn’t do those things. You should! You only go to college once! But you have to be able to balance both a social life and your academics. If you follow these study habits, you’ll not only have a great experience, but also a great GPA. 

Study Techniques

By now, you should know what study method works for you. Flash cards, rereading (or reading for the first time) the text, looking over notes and writing outlines all work. The key is to make sure that you know the information. If you had to flip over the card or peek at the answer before you could answer the question, then you still have work to do. 

When to Study

It might seem obvious that the night before a test, midterm or final is the night to study. I hope that this is obvious to everyone. But opening up the book and notes for the first time the night before is not the best choice.

In order to properly learn the information, the work starts after the lecture or discussion section. Whether that be later that afternoon or night, it is important to go over the information that the day covered. It might not be a long time. Maybe five minutes. But it is important to relearn the information the day it was taught.

It is also important to continually go over the information every day. The more you repeat the information, the easier it will be to learn and recall it during the test. The information will actually be learned compared to learning it the night before, which will only result with the challenge of vividly trying to remember the information.

Remember, this is college now. This information is important because it will be used for your job.

Where to Study

Where you study also plays an important role as to whether or not you learn the information. 

The best place to study is one that is quiet and that offers little distractions. The libraries on campus offer areas for quiet individual study, as well as areas to study with a group of people.

It’s also essential to turn off your phone and stay away from Facebook, Twitter or whatever else you constantly check. Some people prefer to listen to music at a low volume when they study. If that helps then that’s great, but it’s important to focus on the material so that it stays with you for a long time, and a loud room and computer will distract you from progress.


Reward Yourself

Although it is important to get as much information as you can, doing so for a long time might actually hurt you rather then help.

It is important to take breaks when you are studying. Your brain’s attention span is not that long. Spend half an hour on one subject and take a break. Go for a walk, go to the Internet and poke someone on Facebook, or favorite a tweet. Make sure to distract your brain and reenergize it with water and a small snack. 

You can also reward yourself when you study. Place little gummy bears at each paragraph of your textbook and eat it when you finish the paragraph. For every right answer you get, reward yourself with a cookie, or a healthier option, a slice of an apple. Anything that keeps you motivated to study is good!

Now I’m not guaranteeing a 4.0 GPA if you follow all of these study habits. I can guarantee, however, that if you balance your social life and use these steps, the GPA will be high and you will also enjoy your journey during these next four year of college. 

Michal is a sophomore in Media. He can be reached at [email protected]