Welcome to those fresh out of high school (prepare yourselves) and to those who are returning to uni (you poor suckers). Here are a few study hacks as a new semester descends upon us.
1/ Take the time to be present
Seat yourself where the professor directs their attention and thus questions. We’re all students and therefore nerds, nothing wrong with that. Near the back has poor lighting and food crumbs…which are like the crumbs of knowledge you’re picking up (#Englishmetaphors). And not being there in the first place means you’re not picking up anything at all. Plus, you’ll be surprised by what actually filters through during daydreams and thoughts about lunch.
2/ Don’t leave just yet
Ten minutes before the lecture ends there’s a rustling of papers, then a whistling of zippers, then a thunderstorm of seats snapping back into position as people leave. If your next class is almost a suburb away across uni campus that’s understandable. But if it’s within a 500 meter radius, surely you can spare a few minutes listening to the lecture slides that (most) professors have devoted time and energy to. Near exam or assignment time there are always a few pointers that will help and they’re usually tacked on at the end for the studious.
3/ Ask question after question
Only the mighty of us ask questions in class. Why? Because no one admires someone who seems to lengthen lecture time. But you know who does? The professor and every person who has the same question on their mind. You’re showing that you can think critically about the topic or present potentially new and interesting perspectives. It actually injects life into the lecture and allows the professor to showcase their knowledge. Uni is, after all, an opportunity. Make it a point to ask a question every time. Stand out and be remembered as that person instead of those people.
4/ Read the textbook before lectures
Yes, uni textbooks can cost almost two weeks rent. Yes, sometimes these are impulsively bought during the period of time when everyone’s super motivated to study. And yes, sometimes the recommended textbooks aren’t even used. But by going to the source of the professor’s material, you’ll know what the lecture will be about in advance. The absorption of the take-home message will be much faster, so you can get-home much more quickly too.
5/ Use lists
The phrase “get organised” sounds so overwhelming to procrastination lords everywhere. Like it’s so simple to download an app or buy a diary and write down tasks each day and just do it. So where do we start? Start by writing down lists. Write down absolutely everything you need to do and ignore deadlines. From there, prioritise those tasks. So many of us walk around with to-do lists in our heads that it creates unnecessary mental clutter (as uni students, we don’t need anymore). By writing them down, those goals become concrete and we’re more likely to remember them.
So go forth and conquer the first week of semester.
Last modified: February 27, 2016