I made many mistakes in my first year because I was studying the way I did in high school, which did not work out. I got busy with other extracurricular activities, and it made me lose focus in my classes. In high school, I never had to write down my deadlines because the teachers kept reminding me, but that wasn't the case in university. Writing down deadlines in my calendar helped me stay on top and not miss them. It took me a while to find a good studying technique that worked for me in university. Once I figured it out, I found it easier not to miss a deadline, and I finally had my work finished on time.
Once you get to university, you experience new freedom which may lead to more social activities such as volunteering. You also put in more work hours which can make staying focused in classes very hard. Since volunteering and work hours are something that are necessary for most people and can't be left behind, it is easier to fall behind in classes because there is no mandatory attendance, and schedules are flexible. This can cause students to be overwhelmed and stressed. The techniques that worked in high school to stay focused and on top of your schedule may not work anymore, and thus will need to be adjusted. There are many techniques to help you stay focused in classes.
Techniques to Stay Focused
Find a good study space. Find a space that quiet and free of distraction and clutter.
Avoid having your phone with you. Keep your phone as far away from you as possible while studying.
Practice the Pomodoro technique. Try studying for small periods of time and getting a break. This is what has worked best for me.
Set goals each day. Set goals everyday on the amount of work that needs to be done.
Form study groups. Study in groups for tests.
Keep all deadlines in your calendar. It is very easy to forget one when everything starts piling up.
Get a good night's sleep. As easy as it was to stay up all night in high school, it gets difficult in university and it makes it harder to focus in class.
These techniques may not work for everyone, and sometimes it may take a while to find the right one. Other than just finding the right technique, it is also important to rest, give yourself a little break every now and then, and make sure you don’t burn out to avoid physical or mental exhaustion. Staying on top of school will make it easy to do other activities and not lose track of classes.
Being in university requires some sacrifice that may come from your social activities, but if everything is planned in advance, it may not be a big sacrifice.
Author: Zoya Mahmood
"Writing down deadlines in my calendar helped me stay on top and not miss them. It took me a while to find a good studying technique that worked for me in university."
Zoya highlights the studying techniques that worked for her, keeping in mind that these may not work for everyone. She talks about how university provides freedom, but it also means taking control of how you organize your time to avoid falling behind on assignments.