I was sitting in Biochemistry lecture the other day when I realized I could understand everything the professor was saying. It was an amazing feeling. Then, I realized why I understood and, now I want to share it with the world. Here’s how you succeed in college, maybe even be a genius.
These are just a few things that I have learned over the few years from my own experience. Feel free to follow them or to just read over them for entertainment purposes.
1. Take Notes Later
Chances are that when you go to lecture, you attempt to multitask. You want to write notes, look at the PowerPoint, read it and listen while understanding your professor all at the same time. Stop it!
You are giving your brain a sensory overload. Most people cannot multitask and by most, I mean everyone. Expanding your attention to so many things at once can exponentially lower your efficiency at the other tasks that you are doing.
Try just listening to your professor and record lectures on a recorder, your cell phone, iPod, etc. You will find that you understand the concepts more and won’t have to ask the professor to repeat what they said as often.
You can take notes after class by listening to recordings and repeat that as many times as you like. Although, you might want to make sure it’s okay to record your professors before you do so. Most professors, however, do allow it.
2. Don’t Get Ahead of Your Professor
I’m not talking about reading the lecture notes before the lecture. By all means, go ahead and read the lecture before the lecture. It can be very beneficial and eye-opening for understanding lecture material.
What I’m talking about is trying to read the next line on the slide before the professor even gets to it during the lecture. I find myself being very guilty in this area. This is another multitasking issue that takes your focus off the professor’s explanation.
You might find yourself scrambling to catch up to what the professor is saying once you realize you don’t understand what is written on the lecture notes.
This could be avoided if you were going at the same pace as the professor because most times they know when their bullet point is incomprehensible and usually expand on the ideas in their notes in order for you to understand. Otherwise, why would we need a professor, right?
3. Play Games
Yes, I said it! Play games! Sometimes, the only way to understand things is to practice recall but, doing it the old-fashioned rote memorization way can be excruciatingly painful.
For example, learning all the amino acids and their 1 letter codes and 3 letter codes. That is a nightmare but, using the Amino Acid App was able to learn them without ever having to draw any of the amino acids.
There are lots of apps specific to your studies out in the Apple Store or in the Google Play Store that is available for free that use games to help you learn.
You could even Google games on your computer to find free games. Lots of people have been in your shoes before and have created games to help the learning process become easier.
4. Remind Yourself to Pay Attention
This rule reminds me of my failed attempts at meditation. When you are in class and you find your mind wandering off in dangerous directions, just guide your mind back to the task at hand.
Don’t give up and continue to look at the pictures on Instagram or videos on Vine. The pictures and the videos will still be there after class but, what your professor is saying cannot be replayed once you lost it at least not in the same way.
5. Study in Time blocks
What this means is that you should set up an amount of time in which you can study for without getting tired or distracted. Such as 30 minutes for history if you can only go so far without falling asleep and drooling all over your textbook (I speak from experience).
Some days you will be able to do more than your designated block time without even noticing and if you can, go ahead. more power to you, however, if you can’t don’t force it because its likely that the information won’t stick.
You will end up reading the same sentence or paragraph over and over without getting any closer to understanding what you are reading. Take a break and come back to it. That brings me to the next point.
6. Take a Break
A little bit of stress can improve your memory but, too much stress is bad for your health and can overload your brain. It could just be the reason you can’t understand the things you are reading when studying so, make it a priority to take a break every now and then.
Jump up and down or dance around for 5 minutes. Just do something completely unrelated to studying to get your mind off of it. Change locations during your break.
The psychology of our brains is a strange thing but, where we study can also affect us and our minds. So don’t study where you sleep or play, it can confuse the brain.
These are just some tips that can help any student be a little better at being a student. I hope it can benefit you.
Thanks for listening to my rant,
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