Transitioning from secondary school to university can be very stressful as it is the biggest educational shock you’ll ever experience. Regardless of how great of a student you used to be in high school, there is no guarantee you will easily continue to excel during your studies, too. Yes, you can keep some of your studying habits, but the amount of studying material increases significantly at this level. In order for you to keep up with the workload, some things will probably have to change. So, get ready to fail many times until you realize how it all works and how to organize well, but it will all be worth it in the end.
It should be clear that at this level you are required to spend more time studying than before. However, this doesn’t mean that you need to give up on your social life or other activities. It’s important to set aside the time for studying and, when you’re finished, you’ll be free to do other things. The trick is that you can’t know how much time you’ll need at first, but later on it will become easier for you to estimate this.
A good plan means half the work is done, but only if you stick to it. Creating a good plan can be very useful, especially when you have to multitask. However, you need to be careful when planning, always leave a few days free of any scheduled duties, just in case something unexpected happens or you feel too tired and exhausted for studying. There’s another trap you could fall into and this is procrastination. For instance, if you decide to slack off one day and skip your daily studying plan, you will still not be far behind if you include more days in your study schedule than you actually need, just to be safe. This is allowed sometimes, but don’t make it a habit because you’ll end up having to do everything in one night, which is practically impossible.
Opting for group studying can be effective for some, yet distracting for others, depending on what method of studying suits you best. What I recommend is going through the material on your own before meeting with others and simply discuss only the parts you didn’t understand quite well. This way you’ll be able to get answers and help others as well. Even if you only help others, you can be confident about being thoroughly prepared for the exams.
Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help. Whether it’s from your friends, teachers or the internet. Don’t overdo it and be annoying, but asking for help from time to time is completely acceptable. The internet can be of great help, as well, only if you know where to look for information. There are many reliable educational websites that post notes and helpful materials for studying. For instance, there’s an exam in Australia for which you can find useful VCE notes, essays, and other helpful material that have been reviewed before being posted.
Believe it or not, you are your worst enemy. It’s important to keep a positive attitude, or at least a real one. Stressing over the possibility of failure will do you nothing except take away your precious time. The worst thing is when these thoughts strike, they just go deeper and deeper, it’s like a black hole. This is why it’s very important to block these thoughts the minute you see them coming. Write down the worst thing that can happen and decide whether it’s really that scary. Face your fears with a good attitude and they will begin to look smaller.
When you set your studying time, make sure to actually use it for studying. Don’t stare at your phone or at the wall thinking about your next vacation or a night out. Be present and try to absorb the material. It’s about the quality of your studying, not the number of hours you spend chained to your chair.
These were some tips on how to maximize your studying efficiency and learn to manage time. Another thing you need to remember is that your brain needs breaks. This means you should also go out with friends, take walks, go to concerts, read other books and watch movies. Sometimes you will struggle to stay focused and will lack motivation for studying, and that’s completely normal. Try taking a walk or dancing in your room, anything that will wake you up. Although, if you can’t concentrate at all, give yourself a day off, do something you like instead and study later.