If you are in high school, and bound for college, there is at least one thing that your teachers are almost certainly trying to beat into your head: That college, when you get there, will be totally different than high school.
The reality? Well, unless your teachers are relying on hyperbolic scare tactics–like telling you that your professors in college will rip up any paper of yours that they don’t like, or that your TA will lock the doors and make the whole class laugh at you if you’re even a little late–they’re telling the truth. Studying in college is vastly different than it is in high school and, if you aren’t prepared, it can be a rough transition. The most effective way to make it a littl easier on yourself? Learning which of your go-to study habits aren’t going to cut it once you get to college. So, if you’re going to college–or are already there, but still need a little boost–check out these study habits you need to quit in college:
1. Studying in your room:
In high school, you can get away with mostly studying in your room. Not so in college–you’ll probably have a lot of people coming and going, which will make it distracting. Plus, your dorm in college is the only private space you have. Going to the library or another place on campus will help keep your studying and leisure life separate and make it easier to focus when you do study.
2. Only using the study guides your teachers give you to study:
In college, you’ll be lucky if your professor gives you a study guide at all. And, if they do, chances are good that it’s not going to cover everything on the test–make sure you study everything that you’ve been over in class.
3. Not setting goals:
There’s not a ton of visualization of goals required in high school, but you will need to do think about what you want (and write it down, too) in college to make sure you get the results you deserve.
4. Not setting a schedule for yourself:
Your studying will be more effective if you set some sort of schedule for yourself–like making sure you do work every day from 3 to 5 PM or something–instead of just stopping and starting whenever. This way, studying will feel more natural to you.
5. Not actually doing the reading:
In high school, you can probably rely on SparkNotes and Wikipedia summaries to get you through most of your classes. In college, however, this gets significantly harder–your professors are going to expect you to know what’s going on in the reading, and they’ll definitely be able to detect BS if you don’t actually know what you’re talking about. Read up!
6. Not asking for help:
Work is harder in college! You shouldn’t be expected to do it all alone. So, make sure you’re taking advantage of any office hours your professor has and/or any tutoring services your university offers. This will help make things significantly easier for you (and win points with your professors if they see you’re being proactive about your schoolwork).
7. Doing your homework the morning before class:
Just…do it ahead of time, okay? You might have just had worksheets that you could finish quickly before class in high school, but that most likely won’t fly once you get to college. You’ll be able to get away with it every now and then, but for bigger assignments, your professors will be able to tell that you’re being lazy.
8. Sorta kinda copying other people’s writing:
You probably already know that you shouldn’t be copying other people. But, just in case you need a reminder, know that you definitely shouldn’t do it in college–most places have strict plagiarism and honor code rules, so getting caught copying (even if it’s just borrowing a few phrases for a paper orf something) could get you expelled.
9. Not pacing yourself:
You know–waiting until the last possible second to get started on a serious project or research paper and, on a smaller scale, not starting your homework until 10 PM every day. I get that some people work better under pressure, but waiting until the last minute to do everything is going to get really stressful really fast. So, if you know you have a big assignment, try to start chipping away at it at least two weeks before it’s due. This way, you’ll only have to devote a little bit of time to it each day (say, twenty minutes a day or so), and you’ll be less freaked out by your looming deadline.
10. Studying with music:
Or, rather, studying with the wrong music. I’m not going to tell you what to do here–some people study just fine with all kinds of music!–but if you’re listening to anything super busy, like rap or pop, it’s most likely going to distract you. Instead, try to listen to something calmer, like classical music or anything more low-key and instrumental.
11. Not using study groups:
You don’t want to use study groups all the time, but studying in groups occasionally has been proven to improve grades, since you’re being reminded of things you might not have taken notes on or could have missed. So, ask two or three people who you feel like are on the same studying level as you to join you for a weekly session. (This is also a good way to make friends!)
12. Not using a planner:
If you don’t already use a planner, you should probably start now. Even if you’re usually good at keeping all of your assignments straight in your head, once you get to college, you’ll need to have them written down. This way, you’ll be able to plan ahead for finals week and days in which you have multiple assignments due.
13. Pulling all-nighters:
Don’t do this. It feels like you’re being productive at the time, but it just makes you feel exhausted for days afterwards and will straight-up ruin your scheudle for the rest of the week.
Are you in college? Do you have any foolproof study habits? Let us know in the comments!