hello and welcome to my first studyblr post!! i’ve seen a ton of these around, but not many have all the tips i’ve learned throughout high school. i go to a private preparatory school and i’m top 5 in my class and i lead many extracurriculars. last year was the CRAZIEST year of my life, but with a certain mindset & only a few all nighters, i managed all A’s in all advanced courses. So, here are the tips i’ve learned!!
- write stuff down!!!! i know it is the most obvious thing, but writing down anything you need to remember, whether that be homework, tests, quizzes, events, due dates, reminders…anything! checking off these things at night is so satisfying and you won’t forget anything important. when i’m in the #zone, my mind often thinks of stupid questions/thoughts. I’ll jot these questions/misc. thoughts unrelated to what i’m focusing on to come back to later and explore!! (for example, i was doing an frq for econ and i thought of doing this post, so i wrote it down in my journal.)
- organization. there are so many masterposts out there to help you with organization. my method included binders & comp. notebooks.. that’s about it!
i’m not very organized
- get to know teachers. this is probably what helped a lot my junior year. not only is maintaining good relationships with teachers good for you, it can be beneficial to your grade as well. when you make friends with teachers you always have someone to talk/rant to & they always give you the inside gossip about teachers/other students. have coffee/lunch w them, or talk about theories from the class they teach. they give you a lot of perspectives on the course and cool ideas!
- manage your time. again, another broad statement. but what i did every night kept me sane. my schedule every day after classes (including saturday) was:
- practice until 5
- extracurriculars until dinner (6:30-7)
- minimal homework until done (usually 1-2 hours)
- study for 1+ hours if needed (8-9 pm)
- enjoyment time (at least 30 min)
while this may not be a lot for most people, it was a lot for me and i needed time to make myself happy. school and friends make me happy, but so does alone time. putting this minimum of 30 min a day (if i don’t fall asleep before that) really helped me get through demanding courses because i had an incentive. this schedule also helped me avoid procrastination!! ALSO, I prioritized like hell. Honestly, if homework was a completion grade, I wouldn’t try at all unless i needed the practice. Same goes with classes. the ones i had high A’s in, i would sometimes sacrifice a homework grade in order to get enough sleep or study for another test. while this is not the most ethical way of doing it, it helped.
- Avoid procrastination. procrastination is your worst enemy. I used to be so bad, but now i’m getting better. this is key. in order to beat procrastination, you have to have self discipline. simple as that. get inspired. for many of you, it’s your studyblr community, for me it was for personal pride and competition. you must execute to get the job done. it will be worth it in the end.
- do the little things. put away the phone. put music on if it helps. stretch a little. get some water. get as content and comfortable as you can when you study.
- SLEEP!!!! that’s all i can say. sleep sleep sleep. it’s important. i know life is busy, but make time for sleep if you can. mental illness is a bitch, and sometimes it can make falling asleep hard. i know. just try your best & that’s enough. anytime i had free time during the day, i slept. nothing is more important than sleep, and if i didn’t get at least 8 hours of sleep the night before, i tried to catch up as best as i could. your brain needs a break to refuel and you will feel refreshed the next day.
- Eating healthy. i rarely see this tip around (maybe i’m not searching hard enough) but i think it’s important. eating healthy is excellent for your brain function & body function. it’s hard, especially in college, to have to motivation (or money) to make your own dinner, lunch & breakfast everyday. but. it’s. worth. it. i can’t stress this enough. i feel more awake and energized at school and workouts and your body has to have these nutrients to keep functioning well.
- Exercise. gross i know, please don’t hurt me, but exercise goes right with eating healthy. the better you feel about yourself, the better you will do in school. simple enough. you will have more motivation, energy, and happiness with a good diet and exercise. running daily and occasionally swimming gets me though the week, and while sometimes i don’t want to workout, i always feel good in the end. find something you like doing and stick to it. try to work out 3 times a week. after every workout, i am always motivated to study
- UNDERSTAND THE MATERIAL. it’s so obvious, but so many people just memorize. while you have to memorize any new thing you learn in the beginning, there is a time when you must apply what you memorized. you must actually think about why this term/concept is what it is based on memorized facts. you must see the whole picture and how little things relate and why they do. last year i realized this and it worked wonders. for me, if i understood the big picture, i knew the facts by heart. it dawned on me that you must train the mind to think. when going through notes, quizzes, tests, and studying i always asked myself why is this important and what it relates to. retention. is. key. understanding, and not memorizing facts will help so so much!!
- STUDY BUDDIES. i can’t stress enough how much this helped me. coming from a boarding school, it’s easy to work on homework with friends all the time. to review for a test, my friends in the class would all meet and discuss the material. i’m an auditory learner, so this worked 10x better. what i’ve learned is that if you can teach it, you know it. when i could explain concepts to my friends, i knew i didn’t have to study that. if questions came up when i was trying to discuss my line of thinking, i revisited my notes and tried to understand why i didn’t get it. if we had study guides, we would all do the question and discuss why we got our answers after. for me, discussion is the best way to get new perspectives and ideas as well as understanding the topic better. (i also love talking so).
- ask questions. even if its stupid. even if you’re just curious. always ask them.
- study environment. outside (if it wasn’t terrible weather) is where i love to study with friends. if it is snowing or raining, i go to the library or a local coffee shop. it really just depends on my mood. find an area where you feel the most productive!