Well, congratulations to all you first years out there. You made it through your first semester. Hurray!
Now a new semester has begun, there are only four months to go until the year is over and summer vacation has arrived.
I know, I’m jumping a little far ahead of myself. Let’s backtrack, shall we?
You have successfully survived your first four months of post-secondary school, with only a few bumps and bruises to show for it.
Being in a new environment at a new school in a new town with a whole bunch of new people, you had to go exploring a little bit to get the lay of the land. You had to find which dorm room was yours and meet your new roommate. You had to find your way around school and figure out where all of your classes were. You had to find all the good places to hang out with friends. You had to figure out how to manage your time appropriately between school, work and extracurricular activities. You had to spend some late nights studying until the wee hours of the morning. You had to pull all-nighters so you could finish whatever paper was due the next day, and then almost (or you did) fall asleep in class.
All in all, you had to learn and figure out a lot. You had to see what worked and what didn’t work. And, some mistakes were made along the way.
For me personally, I have never been good at studying throughout my entire schooling including elementary school.
I talked to a few of my teachers over the years, and they each gave me a few pointers, such as reading the material thoroughly, making notes as I am reading the material and writing out my notes over and over again so that the information will stick.
But, what I found worked well for me was that the night before (or a better yet, a few nights before) I’d take the point-form notes that I took during class and re-write them on another piece of paper in even shorter point form. Then, I re-read them extremely quickly right before the exam. That’s the only way the information would stick in my head for my exam – reading my notes right before I went in to write them.
Another common mistake made by students (including myself) is pulling an all-nighter to finish homework.
Now, I know all about procrastinating to finish homework at the last possible second. I’ve done it a lot more than I care to admit and the older I get, the worse it gets. So, do yourself a favour and don’t pull all-nighters whether it’s to study or finish a paper. Do your studying and researching for papers well in advance that works with your schedule. This way, come deadline or exam time, you won’t be so tired you’re falling asleep the next day. Plus you won’t be so stressed out.
So, keep up the good work. Before you know it, you will be writing your final exam for the year and then putting your feet up and relaxing in the nice spring sun. Enjoy your semester!