Forming Good Habits
By Blake Bouza, Assistant Editor
At Volunteer State Community College, it can almost universally be agreed that our biggest enemy is “inclement weather.”
This has never been more illustrated than in the very first week of school this semester (no elaboration needed).
More than ever it is imperative to form good study habits now so that your schedule is not completely thrown off gear by things like the weather, car trouble, relationship trouble – just trouble, okay?
Student life in college is almost invariably 90 percent damage control and 10 percent waiting for the next crisis of the week.
Now is the time to set some safeties in place. I like to call it “preemptive damage control.” Form good habits now, so that when you pick up our end-of-the-semester edition of the paper and see the inevitable “Save Your Grades” article, you can throw your head back and cackle.
With some advice on this, I turned to the Internet and students at Vol State.
Editor-in-Chief Sara Keen had a wonderful editorial last week about procrastination (check it out on our website, seriously). In it she talked about a solid strategy she employs, setting aside a half hour to an hour each day and devote that time to one subject.
Daily reviews of notes that you have taken can be tedious. Instead, the Oklahoma Nursing Student Association website writes that we should consider weekly note reviews.
Since we mostly have Fridays free of school activity now, try and use this time for a weekly review. Be it early in the morning or during lunch, the OKNSA website writes that students should study when they are at their peak, that is, when students are most alert and awake.
I find it imperative to mention that I’ve already checked my phone three different times while writing this article. Silence the phone and put it out of reach. You’ll keep your concentration about you, I promise.
Psychcentral.com writes “how you approach something matters almost as much as what you do. Aim to think positively when you study.”
The website goes on to write that students should avoid catastrophic thinking. “Instead of, ‘I’m a mess, I’ll never have enough time to study for this exam,’ look at it like, ‘I may be a little late to study as much as I’d like, but since I’m doing it now, I’ll get most of it done.’”
We should take an objective view of our grades and ask ourselves what we can do to improve, notes Psychcentral, rather than think “I always mess things up.”
Make a schedule you can stick to. You know what you’ve got to do in a week. Make a study schedule that fits your work and home life. According to the OKSNA website, transferring notes to 3×5 cards would be an effective way to study during spare moments, or recording a lecture for later listening if your professor is particularly fast-speaking.
Holdon Guy, student at Vol State, said that he bases his studying method around the principles of prioritization, time management, breaks, and working hours.
Guy said that he makes out a list of tasks based on due dates, then allocates as much time as needed for each task.
“Doing this allows me to visualize where I need to concentrate my efforts when I study. During study time I incorporate fifteen minutes of break time into every hour,” said Guy.
Guy said that taking fifteen minutes to walk around, eat a snack, or take a bike ride keeps his mind alert and helps him to remember all the material he is studying.
“I try to only study when I feel fresh and productive,” Guy said.
While students cannot predict such things as inclement weather, we can indeed set up safeties for ourselves to ensure that our academic careers are on track by consciously making the effort to, in spite of how much snow is on the ground.