What differentiates a successful student from an average student besides their grades? Their studying habits! It’s never too late to develop and work on some new healthy habits. I know a lot of you have finals coming up within the next few months so this is the perfect time to start. So, for this week’s post, I’m here to share with you 10 habits of successful students!
Planning Out Study Times
If you’ve read my other blog posts you’ve heard me say this multiple times but start planning out when you’re going to study. This is where the time blocking method comes in handy. I’ve talked about this before but in simple terms, time blocking is when you assign each part of your day to a specific task. You can be as detailed or simple with this method as you want. I know some people will literally make an excel sheet sectioning out every part of their day in blocks and planning out when to do what. Or you can simply write on a sticky note that you will be completing assignment A from 9am-11am and assignment B from 1pm-3pm. Regardless of how you do this, the important thing is to make sure to not switch around your schedule and stick to what you originally planned.
Setting Academic Goals
I personally love to set goals because it holds me accountable! So whenever you have a long study session make a mental or physical note about what you want to accomplish by the end of it. For example, say you’re doing school work for 4 hours. So your goals could be to finish up 2 chapters of notes and a discussion post. By setting goals every time, you can see if your current time management and study habits are working for you or not. If you aren’t achieving all your study goals try to reduce the amount you want to get done and vice versa if you’re achieving your goals too quickly. Just make sure all your goals are realistic because I promise you it feels SO good to cross assignments off your list and I know this always motivates me to continue to be productive during my study sessions.
Starting Exam Review Early
Successful students don’t cram for their exams! I know how hectic a college student’s schedule can be while trying to still have a social life and taking care of ourselves. But the best thing I started doing for myself was starting to study for my exams weeks in advance. Almost every day after class I would review my notes and read the textbook pages assigned. Even taking out an hour of your day to stay on top of your classes will make a huge difference. As soon as I started doing this I realized that I already knew most of the material for the exam since I was learning it every day during and after class.
I had someone comment on one of my other blog posts asking how do you stay consistent with school and studying. So this one is super important! You can’t just jump into these long study sessions once and then never do it again. Successful students are consistent with their study habits!
If you’re trying to switch up your study habits I recommend starting small and working your way up. Set realistic expectations, such as studying for 1 hour every day. Then after a consistent week or two of doing this, add more hours and goals. Remember, you need to give yourself time to start and keep up with new healthy habits! Lastly, I also recommend trying to study around the same time every day. This might be harder for some of us because our schedules change every day but if you’re able to do this it really helps with consistency!
Finding Out When You’re Most Productive
This tip really is a game-changer if you haven’t done this yet. Of course, everyone is different, some of us are night owls while others are early birds. I always thought I was a night owl and could stay up late to study and then sleep in. I later realized that when I study late at night I really don’t retain much information. Even though I don’t love the mornings I’m definitly more awake and productive around 9am and then my productivity levels decrease as the days go on.
Once you find your peak productivity time make sure to get your hardest assignment done at that time. This way it ensures that you’re putting in your best effort instead of trying to get it done when you’re half asleep. If you guys want more productivity tips you can check out my other blog post here.
Taking Notes During Class
My class participation and note-taking definitely changed from freshman year versus my junior year. In the beginning, I would skip class because it wasn’t mandatory or I would go and not take a single note. When I transferred schools and class was mandatory and participation was strictly enforced I realized how beneficial it really is to actively pay attention. This means taking notes, answering questions, and asking for clarification if you need it.
It sounds simple but so many of us don’t do it, especially if your lectures are recorded. I still see this happening all the time with the people around me. They spend more time watching lectures and playing catch up rather than studying. Successful students don’t spend all their time playing catch up, they work towards their goals. If you already know what’s going on during your class lecture, it’ll be easier to study for exams because you won’t be hearing the material for the first time three days before an exam.
Coming To Class Prepared
I mentioned this before but if your professor assigns textbook readings before class please read them! It might be confusing when you learn it on your own for the first time. However, once you go to class and your professor starts lecturing the concepts won’t be completely foreign. Since you already read the textbook you have more of an idea about what’s going on. Then during class, the professor teaches you with more depth and you can ask questions for clarification.
Getting Enough Sleep
A lot of us might feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day and we have to pull all-nighters. But that really is far from the truth. Try your best to avoid pulling all-nighters. If you are being productive and time-blocking your days out you really shouldn’t need to be pulling all-nighters every week. Getting enough sleep is so important for your productivity levels but also for your mental health. If you get 3 hours of sleep then there’s no way you’re going to be able to thrive the next morning. I know it’s hard but please try to get a decent amount of sleep. Even 6 hours is better than nothing!
Having A Designated Study Space
I’m a big believer that you can’t study where you sleep and vice versa. That means not attending online lectures or doing homework in bed! If you have the space for a desk I recommend having a corner of your room where you only study and do work. If you don’t have a desk try your dining table, local library, school study spaces, literally anything besides your bed. My workspace is actually my favorite part of my room! If you’re looking for some desk inspiration you can check mine out here.
Knowing When To Take A Break
This one’s always a hard one to do but successful students know when it’s time to take a break! I know we all want to succeed and get everything done at once but you also want to avoid burning out. If you constantly study without having self-care days or seeing your friends it will eventually catch up to you and affect you negatively. Instead of letting it get to that point, make sure to remember to eat well, sleep, and take breaks because you deserve it!
These are my top 10 habits of successful students, I hope you guys enjoyed this week’s blog post! If you have any other tips or questions make sure to comment them down below.