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Best Study Habits to Use this Semester

By Angel Godfrey | August 28, 2023

Find Your Study Space

Finding a good location to study is one of the most important elements of studying well. Look for a quiet place with minimal distractions – someplace where you’ll be able to focus and won’t be interrupted by loud sounds or people who constantly want your attention.

A school or public library (I personally recommend the science library, which is right next to the basement of the campus center), a coffee shop, or a quiet corner of your dorm can all be good places to start. Switching places can be a start. Studying in the same spot can get boring. Studying the same material in different locations helps your brain create multiple associations with that material, making it easier for you to remember it.

It can be beneficial to find three or four places you like to study and switch locations when you’re feeling stuck or need a change of pace. Other spots to keep in mind include the sitting area near Starbucks, (located in the basement of the campus center) and inside your room. With that said, everybody is different. Stick with an environment that works for you.

Take Breaks

Taking breaks midway through is essential, similar to a power nap. Taking intentional breaks has been linked to better retention, increased attention, and boosts in energy. Some ways to clear your mind can include:

  • Taking a short walk

  • Listening to a mood-boosting song

  • Stretching

  • Having a snack

  • Taking a shower

  • Cleaning your desk or room

Set Study Goals

This is college, so do not expect to fully grasp the material on the first day. Setting reasonable goals for yourself can help to fully understand the material instead of trying to cram all the information in one day. Staying vigilant, using good time management and taking time off to relax are important for achieving your goals. Take well-spaced breaks and if needed, continue the next day.

For example, if you are looking to raise your overall GPA, you can say to yourself, “I will study for an extra hour each day and take on extra credit assignments to raise my GPA by a full point by the end of the school year.”

To improve time management and relaxation, you can start by saying, “I will finish my homework 30 minutes earlier, so I have more time for myself every evening.”

Even if you finish all your homework 15 minutes earlier and not 30 minutes earlier, that is still progress. Keep achieving it even if it is a minute earlier each day and increase your goal to 45 minutes, one hour, etc. At the end of it all, reward yourself for your hard work. This will probably sound a little cliché but getting enough sleep is essential for good studying. Getting enough sleep is important for information retention as this will aid in fewer mistakes on an exam.

More Tips on Studying

Get organized. Studying is not a one size fits all approach. Everyone has different learning techniques. What works for other students may not work for you. Using a planner will help to sort out your to-do list. Use it to keep track of current and approaching assignment deadlines.

I know it seems tempting to do but do not and I repeat do not skip class! No one is going to chase you down on a deadline or figure out why you are not attending class. Skipping class can be detrimental to long-term retainment and achieving your study goals. It leaves gaping holes in your notes – and in your subject knowledge.

To keep your brain engaged during class, take notes, which you can refer to later, as you refine your study techniques. Notes can help store information in your long-term memory during class. These notes will come in handy later for reviewing when you’re completing assignments.

College is not for the weak. Getting through one day every day is progress towards your future!


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