Today my post is all about getting back in the swing of things, and by that I mean the 'school' thing. Because (let's be honest) everyone seems to have that September feeling when it comes to education and studying. It just seems really hard to work and write assignments after a nice long summer of not doing anything mind-bogglingly taxing.
What you really need is a GET TO IT guide, some tips on how to get back into that studying mind-set which can often prove so useful. Here are some awesome tips for you!
One: Be Organised
Know what classes you're in, when - and where - they are and who they're with. If you're unsure about the location, try and check it out ahead of time so you don't get lost or end up late. Being on time to classes is important. Not only does it say to a tutor you're eager to learn, it allows you to get to know other students and/or get to catch up with friends.
Also buy any paper, ink, files and pens etc. before the start of the term/semester so you don't have to worry about supplies.
Two: Read Your Study Material
As soon as you get the material for your course/subject, READ IT! Being ahead of the game is useful in education as you can plan assignments, ask questions and prepare yourself for future classes.
Three: Make Paper Copies
There's always time for paper copies! Print outs of important presentations, notes, assignments etc. can be extremely useful in both the classroom and out. You can make notes for assignments and then afterwards improve on your own work. Paper copies are also a great way of backing up any useful or essential files just in case of emergencies.
Four: Have Back-ups for Your Back-ups
Computers aren't always the most reliable things, so having back-ups of your work is always a good way to go. Backing files up can be anything from emailing yourself a copy of your work, putting files on disk or memory stick to printing copies or filing them away in a DropBox. An emergency can crop up at any time so it never hurts to be prepared.
Five: Timetables Rock!
Everyone says this and many people think it is totally useless, but having a study timetable is a good idea. Even if all your timetable says is how long you plan to study each subject for a week - eg, Non-Fiction, 3 hours, English Lit, 4 hours - as long as there's something to stick to, that's fine.
Another great thing about timetables is that they give you a 'stopping' time. There are only so many hours a week in which you can study; after you have done these, it is healthy to stop.
Six: The Hierarchy of Needs...
In life, all of us need certain things, food and water, comfort and shelter - all the things people need to be 'happy and fulfilled beings'. In order for you to study properly - or just get used to studying again - make sure that you are well hydrated and have a full stomach, are comfortable in your surroundings and have everything with you that you need.
Seven: Have a Study Area
As mentioned above, having the right place to study, that meets all your requirements, is a must when starting to study. It could mean the difference between a good grade or a bad one...
A study area could comprise of a laptop, desk and printer, with plenty of lighting. It could also have extra screens or a radio for music (if you like background noise). Most study areas should be well-lit and located somewhere that you as a student wouldn't be easily disturbed. These places should also be comfortable and separate from your living/sleeping/chill-out spaces. Mixing up the areas can cause stress and conflict.
Eight: Take Time to Chill
Remember that while grades are important, so is your health. And too much work can seriously damage that.
Studying, at any time of the year, is hard work. And with hard work comes the need to chill out. Take the time to do this; find the time everyday to relax in some way, whether it be listening to music, playing a video game or reading a book. Whatever floats your proverbial boat, just take the time out and unwind from your hard work as a serious student.
Nine: Read Through Past Assignments
If you can't remember how to structure an assignment or are a bit hazy on the details of referencing, then looking back on some of your old essays is always a good way to go. This does two things: it gets you back into the subject you're studying and jogs your memory about essays all at the same time!
Ten: Study Little and Often
Don't go overboard. Working too long is detrimental to your learning experience. I'm sure many of you will have noticed how, when you've been studying for long periods that your body seizes, or your head starts to ache? This is your body's way of signalling that your mind is in need of a break. We only absorb so much information - in fact, adults are said to work more effectively in 40 min blocks - and pushing yourself over the limit makes your brain act like an information sieve. Any data that you've been trying to store will just trickle away. But it doesn't have to that way...
Studying is something that you can do - no matter the age or school - whenever and wherever convenient, and learning little and often is most often the healthiest and most beneficial route to take when studying. You can read/revise on the bus, in the car, on the train. You can conduct research in the library for 30/40 minute periods... As long as you chip away, you're well on your way to achieving.
I hope these things help you and your friends to kick start the year with success. Remember that education is supposed to be an experience, and that you're meant to enjoy it while it lasts!
- T.L Spencer
- Diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of eleven T L Spencer turned to writing as a way to cope with her condition. Her vivid imagination and love of all things paranormal influenced her writing. T L Spencer enjoys all forms of literature and is currently studying at university, hoping to become a teacher.