The studyblr community has pooled in a lot of amazing, aesthetically pleasing, efficient, and fun ways to take notes and study. However, over the past few years, especially last semester when I took college classes, I realized that having one system really wasn’t helpful because I would have to scramble for different strategies when the classes drastically differed from one another. So, I made strategies for certain types of classes that were created specifically for those characteristics but flexible enough to adjust a bit if needed. Here is how I study:
I want to start off by saying ALL strategies including reading. DO NOT SKIP IT. It’s hard, it’s boring, and it’s slow, but in the end you learn and create a strong foundation for yourself.
I do not skip a word. I use three different colored post its, some page flags, and a writing utensil. I abhor highlighting on textbooks and books with a passion so I use post its instead: one for writing notes and key concepts, another for terminology, and the last color for any questions I have. As I read, I write all of my notes and then stick them in my textbooks in the corresponding area. The flags are for when I feel like I just couldn’t get the information completely and I want to come back and double review. Finally, after I go through a chapter, I get my notebook and from the beginning of the chapter, I rewrite my post its into notes with the same color coding system.
For the classrooms with power points: This is pretty simple. I print them before hand into handouts if they’re available before lecture and write everything that the teacher says in margins or highlight information. if they’re not available before hand, I still take notes from what the teacher is saying and writing and I make tiny notes of which slide it corresponds with. Then, I print the powerpoint later and write it into the powerpoint slides. To study, I just read over them.
When the teacher usually writes on the board, speaks all the time, and doesn’t use pp: This is where reading the textbook becomes your best friend. You won’t get as much details in lecture since a person can only talk and write so much in an allotted time period. Instead, I copy everything off of the board and don’t miss anything. At the same time I try to get everything he says onto my notebook also. As a back up, I have a voice recorder going on at the same time. Once I get home, I IMMEDIATELY and ALWAYS rewrite those class notes since they probably look terrifying. After all, people speak faster than they can write.
Finally, online classes. Most of it is learning by yourself so stay motivated and determined and you can do it! First, video transcripts are not your notes. Take notes from the video themselves while you’re watching them. For all of those online resources, write notes in every way you can. Print out all of your assignments that you do or put them somewhere where you can print them later to read over. Any reading excerpts? Print those and highlight all you want. Finally, READ THAT TEXTBOOK.
The last part of my studying strategy is really only useful when it comes to tests. Do any and all practice questions that you can get your hands on. I don’t care if it says there’s 100 questions. Do them!! If anything got me through my classes, it would be all of those damn practice tests and textbook questions (Do every problem in the back of your book. Do them. When you do them, your teachers can throw anything at you and you’ll be able to do any scenario.).
All classes are different. Some are a mixture of the traditional powerpoint and traditional lectures. That’s why I really like my strategies because they’re at like two different extremes and I can use them at different amounts to meet that perfect spot where my class is.
Finally, I will say that my study strategies do rely on my organizational systems. I have different notebooks for different things, different binder arrangements for different classes, and so on. If you want a master post on that just give me a message (it’ll probably come at some point but i’m also really lazy and forgetful).
Good luck with studying. Just remember to stay healthy no matter what you’re doing <3
“What to do when you have too much to do”
1. Write it down
I have a whiteboard where I write everything down. Not only what events are coming up, but also my todo for the day. You can also use a planner or whatever you want to use.
2. Clean up
A clean room is a clean mind! The best thing to do at the end of the day is clean up your room. Not only do you sleep better in a cleaned up room, the process itself always helps me to clean up my mind too!
Tea. Tea is always the answer.
4. Here and now If there is one question that has opened my eyes on the subject of overthinking, it has to be “what can you do about it NOW” it means that it is no use to keep thinking and worrying about something you can’t do anything about at that moment anyway.
5. Meditation and sleep The most important thing in stressful times is to stay calm. Meditation really helped me. I would really to recommend the app “Stop, Breath & Think”. (My friend @zolderraam brought it to my attention) It’s a meditation app which is perfect for people like me who aren’t very experienced with meditation yet. It also looks really pretty. It is free and you get a list of 16 tracks. You can also buy other tracks to support the makers! You can also fill in how you feel and it will recommend certain tracks! When I can’t sleep I always listen to this YouTube video, it always works for me.
I hope these 5 tips were useful to you and good luck getting done what you need to get done!
I am just under a month away from completing my first year of college, so, I thought I would make an advice post on what I learnt, and how I was able to succeed!
1. GO TO ALL YOUR LECTURES! Within reason of course. I.e., if you’re sick physically or mentally, breaks are good! But, that being said, you cannot learn everything from a textbook. As such, you need to attend your lectures! You pay to hear these people teach, and seriously if you miss too many lectures you will fall behind because they are often fast-paced and FULL of information. Also, don’t just listen to your lectures, take notes!! They are vital to your learning, and, if your prof posts lecture notes the night before, write/review them BEFORE you go to your lecture.
2. GO TO YOUR PROFESSORS OFFICE HOURS! Office hours are a blessing that not enough people use!! I go to my Philosophy professors office hours every week (because I love Philosophy but also because readings can be difficult, and he’s an amazing prof) and he has never once been upset or annoyed, in fact, he praises me on being so devoted to my studies. Don’t be afraid of asking them “dumb” questions either, if they’re a good prof, they wont consider any of your questions not worth their time because they know you’re just trying to learn.
3. DO YOUR READINGS. Readings are assigned for a reason, they either are the material you need to learn, or, they help immensely with the material in your course. If you fall behind on your readings, it will be exhausting to catch up to them (especially if you try to do them all the night before an exam).
4. START YOUR ESSAYS/PAPERS RIGHT AWAY. Do NOT wait until the night before- or even two nights before- your paper is due to start writing, especially if it’s a research essay!! You need at least a week of research and a good few days (or more) to create a thought out, well written, and well edited paper (trust me, I’m an English major). Also make sure you’re writing your papers in the right format, as Professors will dock marks if you have incorrect formatting.
5. This may seem obvious, but, STUDY FOR YOUR MIDTERMS/FINALS. Please PLEASE PLEASE! DO NOT wing your midterms or finals!! Of course sometimes life gets in the way, so if you cannot get a few good days (or even weeks) of studying, just try to do as much as you can. Midterms and finals are HARD, and they aren’t tests that you’ll be able to walk into with no preparation and get an A+.
6. Three words; SAME DAY REVIEW. The most helpful thing that I tell you guys. It has helped me over the last year of my education more than any other form of review. Each day, after my lectures, I go over the material and re-write any notes, or re-read any readings. It is SO helpful in memory retention, especially if you combine this with weekly reviews. This helps immensely when finals come around, because you’ve already been prepping/studying all term!!
7. Last but not least, GET THE PROPER AMOUNT OF SLEEP AND FOOD!! I struggled A LOT with this in my first term. I have to get up at 5 am, as I have a two hour commute to get to my school, but I was still going to bed at ~12 every night, and as such I was living like a caffeinated zombie. I also struggled a lot with getting the correct amount of nutrition, and ended up loosing over 30 pounds (not in a healthy or nice looking way, either), just from a lack of eating through the school day or not eating while studying. When I finally realized what was happening and how taxing my bad habits had become on my mental health and also my grades, it took a lot of work to get better. I now try to always go to bed sometime between 9-10, because sleep is so so so important to being able to function and learn! For food, I started making lunch and breakfast the night before, so that I wouldn’t have to rush in the morning or just forgo food all together because I was too busy. High protein and GOOD foods go a long way in helping you through your busy school day, and finals week. Things like oatmeal, vegetables, fruit, and even stuff like peanut butter are great for your brain and body! Of course, I’m not perfect and still have to work on all of this every single day.
I hope that these tips will help some of you guys out, especially if you’re entering a post-secondary institution for the first time this year. These are all things that I swear by and they have helped me so much in succeeding during my first year of College.
You know what I think would be cool? A spin-off of Avatar: The Last Airbender, but Iroh’s story. Zuko said how he had a complicated past, and Iroh constantly refers back to when he was a general for the Fire Nation saying how he was “a different man”. I want to see what made him change. I want to see if he went into the Spirit World. I want to see when he met the Sun Warriors and met the dragons vowing not to kill them. I want to meet his wife. I want to see him grow up with Ozai and see what made him the corrupt, sick, and twisted Fire Lord we know today. I want all of it. Scenes with Lu Ten, scenes with the two brothers, their parents, coronations… Everything.
I want to see where his story started and how he turned into the tea drinking, advice fixing, wise cracking old man that we know and love.
I feel like I take up too much space, generally. When I'm walking in a crowd I always manage to end up in someone's way. I bump into people a lot. If I'm sitting in an audience I always bump elbows or shoulders with the person next to me. And I somehow always need more table/desk space for the same amount of stuff as other people. Is this a dyspraxia thing? If so, any advice on taking up less space?
Hi there Anon,
I think this sounds like it could definitely be a dyspraxia thing. Because we have problems with our motor control, we’ll find it hard to make adjustments to our movements in time to avoid bumping into folk. Same goes for our spatial awareness in the first place!
I want you to know that most of the time it’s very unlikely that you’re taking up a lot of space, you don’t need to be smaller or more compact as a person. You are a person, you need space, and as a
person with dyspraxia, you might need a bit more space sometimes.
As for practical tips, you might like to try:
Relying on your sight to help stop you from bumping into people (such as practicing spotting gaps in a crowd).
Using a bit of courage to call out “excuse me!” to let others know you need some space. There’s no guilt in this - they don’t like bumping into people either!
If I’m at risk of bumping head-on into someone, I’ll also use hand gestures to help show which way I intend to go. The other person 8/10 times will understand and usually smile in understanding of how real The Struggle is.
Finding other ways to store the possessions you don’t need immediately (putting extra books/stationary under your chair or in a bag nearby).
I hope this helps a bit, if anyone else has tips please let us know!
You can simply make your own Detox drink for everyday morning/evening! I figured out a little recipe and, dangit, my stomach already feels so much better.
I use this:
- Lemon juice of half a lemon
-Fresh ginger (Better you figure out how much you like yourself. I usually use three to five index finger thick slices)
- Honey (I use the thick, milky looking one)
- 1 Teaspoon fresh cut parsley
- 8 to 10 fresh sage leaves
- A pinch of cinnamon powder
- half an apple, cut into bite-size pieces
- hot water.
I boil the water, meanwhile I put everyhing into my fruit jar. As soon as the water is boiling, I pour it into the jar, immediately close it and shake it a few times so that the honey can liquidate properly and mix up with everything. I kind of made a variation of tea, full of detoxifying things + vitamin C. Then I leave it like this on my nightstand until the next morning. Like. I drink it each morning and right after I prepare a new portion and leave it for like 24 hours. The pieces of apple you can easily eat, also some of the leaves are good to snack. It doesn’t taste much of the ginger since apple and honey cover most of the flavour. I honestly love it and one jar each morning makes me feel sooo good!
Also it really is healthy. It cleans your body from toxic, washig them out. It helps you keep your blood pressure balanced and it even helps getting rid of fluid/water retention. When you are working out, a portion of this each evening/night before you go to bed is perfect to help your stomach get flat and your thighs and butt to have good, firm skin. If you then refuse to eat sugar/candy, but instead sweeten your tea with xylitol for example, or eat dark chocolate (at least 70%-85% cocoa, less sugar), your body will burn the energy of your own body fat instead of sugar. Your brain and body needs energy. Many think that eating sugar helps the most. Wrong. Everytime you eat sugar, your brain takes it’s energy from it, leaving your body fat alone, causing it to not get burned. I instead mostly eat vegetables, fruits, fish and much meat. Yes. Much meat. Some of you are vegetarians or vegans, which is not a problem. You got your ways to eat as healthy as your body needs it and that’s fine. Nobody is forced to eat meat. This recipe is good for everyone, no borders! (Except for when you’re allergic to one of those things. But you can use other ingredients for that, tho.) But those who do shouldn’t be scared to eat it, or feel forced to eat less. The combination makes it. So, yeah, it all keeps my body in balance much more than before. (Every now and then I got a cheat day when I don’t care at all and just eat whatever the fuck I want.)
It helps to stay focused better, especially in combination with the Detox drink and tea (I don’t drink soda, neither do I drink cola, or lemonade, or whatever else. Mostly just water and fresh boiled tea). And one piece of dark chocolate each day reduces chances of getting depressed (which helped me a lot through the winter times this/last year!
So, yeah, I kinda wrote more than I wanted. But hey. I hope it helps you as much as it helps me!