I listen to a lot of people that can’t seem to find the time to study and really work on getting their grades up. I hear you. I understand. College is hard, its rough. It’s even more rough if you work a job outside of classes, and especially if that job is off campus! I live off campus, plus I work on the other side of town, so I get the time crunch. Now, my goal for this semester (this year, really) is to make straight A’s all across the board. In order to do that, I really have to study hard. But how? Where do I come up with time to make it happen?
Space your classes out a little bit.
It can be so tempting to put all your classes in the morning, one after the other, and just get through them. But then you get back home with this huge stack of homework and it feels overwhelming and you don’t know how you’re going to get it all done. I did that one semester. Never again.
Instead, space them out a little bit so that you have some time in between them. This will make it easier to get to your next class on time if its across campus, for one thing, but if you’re like me and 75% of your classes are in the same building, take advantage of that time and get a jump start on your homework. In my Music Theory class, the professor likes to start us on our homework before we get out of class. As soon as I get out of that class, I make a beeline over to my next class and then sit outside and finish up that Music Theory homework – while the information is still fresh in my mind. If I have a paper due and it was the subject of part of the class, I’ll take 10-15 minutes after class to work out how the information we covered in the classroom will work into my paper.
Don’t complain about the dead space between classes. Please don’t. You’re just wasting your time then.
2. Find the time when you’re most productive.
Again, so many people I see leaving their studying for late at night. Sorry, but your brain really isn’t going to process all that well late. I’ve done this one a lot, but even though I am a night owl, I get creative at night. That doesn’t mean I’m capable of studying and retaining critical information.
For me, the time I’m most productive is about two hours after I wake up as well as early evenings, right around dinner time. This semester, neither of those are working very well as study times, but I’m trying to get as close to those as I can. If I’m home for an evening, I’ll cook a nice dinner and work on homework for a few hours.
3. Spread out your study time, just like classes.
Exactly like I suggested you space out your classes, do the same thing with your study time. Yeah, you might be home for five hours in the evening – perfect time for studying!! And you will be burned out the next day. If you’re going to study for that long, take breaks in between.
I love to check out a tv show from the library, especially one with episodes that are 25-30 minutes long. I break up my study time with that, or I play with the cat for 15 minutes, or just check facebook or my email. Some people do exercise to wake up their mind between stints of studying, maybe that is for you!
All it really boils down to is, keep track of your time and use it to your advantage. Don’t try to cram and try not to waste time. Be wise with the limited hours in your day because they fly away all too easily.