I work as a tutor for a year now, and I noticed that many students know only one way to study for an exam: flash cards. They come to me with a pile of hundreds of flashcards and tell me that this is the only way works for them. I probably could write another post about how much I don’t like flash cards but it’s a different story…
Here I want to list all kinds of study methods that I found helpful after three years in college
1. Rewrite notes
Many professors now upload copies of the notes or PowerPoints. If they don’t do this, you can use your own notes or a student book. One of the study methods is to rewrite those notes. That doesn’t mean that you need to rewrite word by word, it’s the opposite. The purpose of this technique is to analyze the material, put it in your own words, organize it as you want, and then write it down. Never rewrite information when you don’t understand it, it defeats the whole purpose.
2. Make diagrams, tables, and trees
You can’t use these visuals to study everything, however, they’re extremely helpful to remember complicated concepts and processes. I draw them in my notes and sometimes redraw them on a draft paper multiple times if a concept is very hard to remember.
3. Use other visuals
If you can’t create your own diagrams, you can look for them on the Internet or use visual resources like Crash Course and Khan Academy
4. Teach your friend
As a tutor, I teach many students. Teaching others helps to remember any material and even understand it better. It works because you talk about a subject aloud and you force your brain to recall information as fast as possible. You don’t have to be a tutor to do this. You can teach anyone: your friend, sibling, mother, or you can pretend that you teach someone. This method is also great because it uncovers all hidden parts that you didn’t know you don’t understand/remember.
5. Imagine what you study
Most people probably do it on an intuitive level, but there are some students that don’t do it. You can incorporate this method while you’re reading or rewriting notes. I always imagine different processes in my head. For example, how molecules collapse and interact with each other or how gases diffuse from alveoli into capillaries. I kinda create “a movie” in my mind. It’s fun!
6. Read out loud
It doesn’t work for me, but I know it does for some.
Some of these will not apply to many people so pls take them with a grain of salt. Also I’ve been collecting these pretty much for the two years I’ve been in college so it’s not a guide, they’re just… random I guess.
Warning - specially tailored for super shy people aka me
There’s a thing called the ‘first week window of endless oportunities’. It’s when groups are still forming and everyone’s desperate to make friends. This is the time to put your best self forward (I’m not saying be fake, just a little extra friendly).
Leave. Your. Door. Open. Do it. Even if you have a roommate. Best way to make friends the first week.
Actually get out of your room. You’re not going to meet many people if you hole up in your room. If you have a tv room or people are watching a movie, I don’t care if you’re not interested in what they’re watching, go.
If you have the balls to go to the room nextdoor and introduce yourself then you probably can skip this section by all means do it!
But if you don’t, going from door to door asking for help with your laundry takes a lot less courage + you will learn how to do laundry. Asking to borrow something (pencil, hair tie, hair dryer) also works.
If you’re staying at a residence hall, ask to sit with people at lunch! Nobody is going to say no, i promise.
Similarly if you see someone alone, ask them to have lunch with you!
Also if you meet someone you get along with, as soon as you can, ask for their number ‘so you can go to the dinning hall together’.
Remember people’s names - it makes people feel like you actually care about them. I know it’s hard but make an effort. Also it just gets annoying when someone asks about your name for the fourth time. Use mnemonics if you have to.
Asking what someone’s major is and where they’re from is standard procedure when you meet them but it doesn’t make for an interesting conversation. Think of other questions!
Make sure to arrive about 10 min early to your classes. There’ll be very few people and so it’ll be easier to strike up a conversation (actually people will probably talk to you without you having to say anything which is g r e a t)
Say yes - as a rule of thumb, your social life should prevail over your academic life the first two weeks. This is the time where you’re not really pressed for time. Say yes to watching movies, say yes to going to lunch, say yes to going to campus events (and even to parties). Obviously don’t do anything that makes you really unconfortable but do try to step out of your comfort zone
Make friends with an upper-classman from your same major. Or at least be on speaking terms. Talk to them on Facebook, ask them about your major, just use any random idc excuse to introduce yourself, it doesn’t really matter how you do it.
Don’t go home every weekend, even if you live close by. You’ll miss out on the best of campus life and some of the most fun memories with your new friends.
Keeping your old friends
If you know you’re going home for the weekend, try to finish most of your assignments/studying and make time to hang out with your friends. Spending time with them is the best way to keep those friendships alive.
But! Don’t worry too much if you can’t come home or make time for your friends too often, you just have to make an effort to text them regularly. It will come naturally if it’s your best friend, but don’t forget to set a reminder to text other close friends at least once every two weeks.
You may think you don’t care now but you will once you come home for the summer.
If any of your friends are staying in your hometown for college, be ready for them to get another friend group. That doesn’t mean they’ve forgotten about you, but don’t be mad if they seem to have a lot more plans that don’t involve you. You can always ask to tag along some time and maybe even become friends with these people!
Some people you’ll just lose contact with. Don’t fret it.
Please print out or buy a calendar that has a whole page for each month. With boxes preferably *shameless plug*. You may think you have it all under control but there’s nothing like being able to see all your due dates, hang out plans and laundry days at a glance. (Also js but the pilot frixion are perfect to use on calendars because they’re erasable).
Been a very tiring week at work so I’m keeping revision to the bed today! Trying to revise for my learning exam next week but there are so many definitions! Relying on my trusty starbucks to get me through! ☕️📖
I’m reading this absolutely amazing text for uni about “memories” and, basically, how the dominant classes try to install an “official” national memory, but, most of the times, it contradicts heavily with the memories of marginalized groups. So that text focus on this battle between the two kinds of memories fighting for predominance. Urgh it’s so good!
I’ve also been drawing lately, these are a few of my sketches!!