Amanda’s Approach🌈 – Analyzing My Study Habits in College

Amanda’s Approach🌈 – Analyzing My Study Habits in College

” If you are nervous, it’s good because it means you care. If you are anxious, it’s good because it means you are concerned for the quality of your content. If you are scared and stressed, it means you are unprepared.” – Man at MSU

When I was a Freshman, I was quickly submerged in the “harsh” reality of college test taking. This isn’t high school, where I could quickly do the homework during passing periods before class or get good at guessing at Multiple Choice Exams. In college, it is a whole different experience. You get to learn not only how to learn, but how you learn best and what you are interested in learning. Read ahead to hear about my take aways from learning how to study at Loyola!

Why Cramming is the absolute worst:

Yes, like other Loyola Students, we are all guilty of those late nights in the IC, trying to cram 8 weeks of lecture the night before the final. Bad. Bad. Bad. In reality, cramming does very little for you in the long run. Especially if your major is one that counts on applying previously acquired knowledge! While you may do “okay” on the exam, you will most likely forget everything you crammed the day after the exam. And when you have that scary cumulative final, you will have to reteach yourself everything that your forgot due to cramming. Do damage control and save yourself!

How memorizing gets you nowhere:

It is amazing how some of us are like sponges – soaking up every single word that is on a PowerPoint slide (talking to all you fellow Pre-Meds!). But how useful is regurgitating knowledge when you are unable to present and apply it? I find that making things more interactive – watching Youtube videos, asking questions, and researching topics not only enhance my understanding but also enhances memory simultaneously.

Wait, the Instructor isn’t the only one who teaches you?

In my opinion, we learn best by teaching ourselves and others. I view my professors as presenting information critical to my understanding of the class, and it is my job to translate it. For example, in my Abnormal Psychology class freshman year, I quickly discovered this harsh reality when I got a C on an exam I did not study for. Baby Amanda realized that I would need to get my brain into if I didn’t want to keep up this trend. And through trial and error, I found what works for me.

And finally, it is all about your headspace!

Learning doesn’t have to be a chore! As a total self-proclaimed nerd, I try to make it enjoyable and less of a hassle. This for me is:

– Making my notes colorful and accessible
– Using fun apps like Tiny Cards to make memorizing more effective,
– Listening to the best study music! For me it is piano, but for my roommate, it is heavy metal. Whatever works!
– Making study groups with my friends to not socialize but to help each other better understand the content
– Racing myself with a stopwatch to try to get practice problems done as quickly and correctly as possible.

Of course, these may not work for you when you go to college. But ultimately, it all comes down to understanding yourself – arguably the main take away of college. So just sit back, relax, and remember that it will all click for you eventually!

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