Good study habits (start now)
by Brianna Deutsch
Procrastination. That word resonates a little too well for many adult learners, including me. I’m the kind of person who waits until the last hour to finish an assignment. There’s this unexplainable rush from having to get something done under the pressure of time that actually excites me. But, as you might have guessed, it’s actually not very effective.
Procrastination can take a toll on everything from your immune system to how you cope with the regulation of your emotions.
Putting things off “until later” is not uncommon. According to Joseph R. Ferrari, a professor of psychology at DePaul University, 70 to 75 per cent of university students admit to procrastinating. So, with summer coming to an end and a new school year beginning, how do we start the year on a solid footing, and establish good study habits right off the bat? And an even deeper thought to consider: How do we continue to have the passion to learn throughout the year? I queried a few of my fellow students at Trinity Western University, who have first-hand experience with effective learning tools. Here are some helpful, practical tips to help you study:
• Keep a good perspective. Go into your study time with a positive outlook. Speak affirmations about study time.
• Get organized. This might include writing out a study schedule, and getting rid of loose papers you don’t need, and reviewing previous notes before class starts.
• Eliminate distractions. If where you live has too many distractions (your laptop, TV, chatty roommates), go to a library or a quite coffee shop. It’s important to be fully focused on the task at hand.
• Get together with like minds. TWU student Johnny Janzen, shares: “Choose a study group to go over what you’re learning in class; this allows you to collaborate, go over things you may not fully understand and also help others in return.”
• Be well rested. Recently graduated TWU student Judith Kasiama (International Studies and History) suggests: “Get adequate rest, stay hydrated and take care of your health.” This may seem like common sense, but too many students overlook it. When we aren’t taking care of our basic needs, like sleep, it’s less likely we will be able to concentrate and retain information.
Let’s be learners who are willing to put new tools in the box and honestly assess when things aren’t working for us. And when making changes to your study habits, start small and avoid complexities and big adjustments. Start with one study skill that is obtainable for you. When that study skill has been established, add another one. Allow the unhealthy habits to be replaced with edifying ones