The most important way to thrive (or I should put it this way- to optimize your tuition fee) at college is TIME MANAGEMENT. And this is definitely a subject that is easier to say than doing it!
Let’s start with why time management is important and then we will get into how that connects with study tip. I argue that one of the reasons why we are paying so much to attend U of M is not just to study, but have a holistic learning experience through being involved in different projects, utilizing resources that are only made available through U of M community. For example, doing research and participating in student orgs are all part of this experience. And such holistic experience is indispensible to become successful in the future!
Therefore, one of the incentives to study well, or manage your time to study efficiently and effectively is the fact that you will be left out from the fullness of opportunities otherwise.
Okay now that we know that importance of using our time wisely, here are some practical study tips:
1. Start early. Bit by bit every day/ or even before or after each lecture. So many studies prove that our brain absorb new knowledge better when it is being absorbed incrementally and frequently. Don’t leave everything until the night before- not just ineffective but also unhealthy!
2. Seek help. There are SO many resources out there to help you. Seriously, this University is not built to fail you, nor do your professors. Seek help EARLY and FREQUENTLY. This also ties back to the first point, you need to start studying early in order to identify where your problems are. For example, for organic chemistry, at least start doing your course packs about 2-2.5 weeks earlier. Do to office hour and ask questions. The relationship you built with your instructors and efforts you demonstrated will come handy one day when you need a letter of recommendation.
4. Self-reflection. Self-reflection is the key to improve. For example, if you have a time management problem- start a google calendar or something along the same line- RECORD how you spend your time, in 15 mins or 30 mins intervals. You will soon realize how much time you spent on stalking people on facebook or hanging out, gossiping with your roommate J The problem is never that you don’t have time, but that you don’t know how to spend your time wisely. The first step is to be aware! And the second step is to actively change the way you spent your time. For example, build in your study time as part of your class structure- make it a fixed schedule almost as if you have class at that spot. In addition, self-reflection also includes reflecting your performance of exams. The starting point is not the determining point; but your ability to learn and improve your weaknesses is.
Finally- Here is a link to Randy Pausche on time management, super insightful- (you don’t have to read my post, but you SHOULD def. spend 1 hour watching this video! ) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTugjssqOT0