Imagine arriving home from school tired and exhausted, and upon opening your assignment notebook, you see a long list of topics you need to study for tomorrow’s long quiz.
You end up staring at a blank sheet of paper for hours, not knowing the how’s of sinking everything in your brain overnight.
A student’s life has never been and will never be easy as it entails plenty of sacrifices and sleepless nights just to finish a whole day’s worth of academic tasks.
Indeed, there are moments when you are about to give up instead of merely taking a break because of your heavy study load. However, you shouldn’t be taking everything at face value.
Attending a university does not only mean having a bright future, but it will also serve as your training ground to combat real-life struggles.
Thus, to be successful on your training ground, you have to internalize the purpose of its entirety and look for strategic ways to not just merely “survive” but to excel.
Yes, academic competence is often achieved through strategic studying. However, most students overlook the importance of techniques.
To avoid wasting your time in traditional studying practices, here are five common studying mistakes you should avoid at all costs:
1. The Marathon Style
Have you ever tried studying for a long exam that will be conducted for the next two days, and you can barely move a limb due to being much “focused”?
You don’t want to cease the momentum because you think the thrill it gives helps you to quickly absorb textbook information.
You can’t just stop reading a 5-page worth of terminologies because you value the momentum so much that it frustrates you when someone tells you to “take a break”.
Well, that is normal. However, normal does not mean healthy. Whether you are doing that because you believe it is effective or because you are cramming, you need to know that a no-break method is not healthy for your mind at all.
You are not going to absorb as much information as you expected. Your brain needs rest too and time to sink the details in. Be kind to your brain.
Sometimes, even taking a break and exercising helps!
2. Highlighting the Whole Page
Do you think highlighting the whole page makes you learn faster?
Think again. Students tend to value a lot of information and terminologies that they end up highlighting every single sentence their textbook contains.
When you’re doing this, you need to understand that full-page highlighting won’t make you memorize everything.
Passively highlighting and re-reading your textbook is a waste of time because you’re not actually mentally engaged to the reading material.
Learn how to take notes, read actively, and understand every word you say. You can come up with flashcards, stick notes, or even have someone question you.
Also, highlighting the most important terminologies only allows you to familiarize yourself more.
Instead of memorizing the definition and forgetting it later, try picking out some keywords that you can easily associate it with.
Have you tried listening to music while reading a whole-page worth of textbook terminologies?
Have you tried watching TV while alternately memorizing a poem you have to recite in front of the whole class tomorrow?
Well, these practices should be kicked out of your life. Your brain can only accommodate one task at a time, and if there is a more effective way of absorbing information, it is to isolate yourself from all distractions.
Save your time by allocating at least an hour strictly for studying only.
Multitasking is nearly impossible for a human mind to perform and, surprisingly, it can’t benefit your psychological health in ways you might have thought of.
4. Media Frenzying
You have gained enough momentum already, and you started immersing yourself into the “too focused” level of your consciousness when suddenly, you hear a small beep from your phone.
You tried not to give in to the temptation of checking it. But, after several seconds, you weren’t able to control yourself; you picked up your phone and opened the message.
It’s your friend. She wants to have short chitchat with you. Now, you can’t leave the message unattended because she might get offended. Now, you’re trapped.
This is a common problem for most students. The study from one browser tab while the other tab has all their pending Facebook messages waiting to be seen.
Checking on ten different media tabs and looking at your smartphone every five seconds as it beeps won’t do any good for your academic goals.
The only solution to this is to shut your electronic devices down. It is already easy to be distracted even without those electronic disturbances; what more would it be with all of those?
So, discipline yourself. Turn off and put away anything that’s bothering you and stopping you from immersing in your momentum.
Moreover, listening to instrumental and relaxing music is fine, but you need to avoid listening to songs you want to sing along with.
5. Studying Solo
Nurturing your passion does not always mean going on a solo mission.
Independence does not always entail declining opportunities that lead to personal growth.
Yes, studying alone is fine, but having a group of people you can bounce your ideas off of can be incredibly helpful. This can be done online or offline.
So, convince your family member or friend to teach you the reading material.
You will be surprised that the gaps between your understandings become more visible as you try to explain the material to an outside party.
Also, gather the courage to contact your professors/lecturers/teachers if you have some clarifications and questions about a confusing topic. In that way, you wouldn’t have to waste your time running around circles over unsure conclusions.
Again, a student’s life will never be easy. However, with proper guidance, you can excel among the rest.
There are plenty of prestigious universities that offer guidance to students who have difficulty coping with academic pressure.
There are also tuition agencies likes SmileTutor who offer affordable tuition fees.
Good luck with your future academic journey and we hope you will no longer make the common studying mistakes.
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