College living is fantastic, you get to spend time growing and finding yourself while at the same time you get to hang out with all the new friends you are making. If you didn’t have to study, it might be the perfect life! Sooner or later you are going to have to do some actual work and get down to studying in a serious way.
Concentration is an important skill to develop when you need to study. Focusing on studying can seem like a real hassle when you are used to instant gratification with the Internet and cell phones. Don’t worry though, these useful tips can help you to focus and increase your ability to concentrate when it counts. That way, you’ll graduate instead of dropping out of college.
Having to get up and look for materials in several different locations can break your concentration. Ensure that all the materials you need to study are located in one convenient place. In this manner you can make use of your time in the most efficient way possible and not be wasting time looking for material because you are disorganized.
If the room you are using to study in is uncomfortable in any way, you’ll find it difficult to work at a high level of effectiveness. Make sure the temperature is comfortable for you and that there are not noise distractions. In addition, make sure you are comfortable within yourself. You should not be hungry or thirsty when studying. Keep a bottle of water nearby so you can stay hydrated while you work.
Remove everything from your desk except for the items you need to study right now. Take any books that do not relate to the coursework you are studying and put them away in another location. Turn off your cell phone and e-mail alerts, you need to devote your full attention to the subject you are studying.
Take out your course outline if you aren’t quite clear on where you should begin studying. The course outline should list the main topics that the course is covering. Review the main concepts, and start making lists of the sections your instructor has already covered that you need to study. Then start writing down smaller concepts within each larger topic until the material starts making sense. Patterns will come to light as your go through this step.
Let’s face it, not every class is going to be interesting to you. Even still, you should be able to find a few small topics that are interesting within the larger scope of the course. Use these small bits to help build your enthusiasm for studying for a particular course.
Worrying about grades while you are studying will only cause you to lose focus on the things you are trying to study. This will immobilize you in the studying process and make it very difficult to get anything done. Take a few deep breaths to clear your head, slow down your thoughts, and slow down your heart rate. Once you are feeling more relaxed and centered, it becomes easier to absorb the concepts you are trying to study.
Don’t work too hard or too long without allowing yourself a break. Once you’ve worked hard for an hour or more, your mind might start to wander. Take a stretch break at minimum. You may want to have a small snack to help re-energize you. After a ten to twenty minute break, you should be able to concentrate on studying again.