New Year, New Study Habits!

As midterms approach, here are some tips on how to study and seek academic support!

Join a Study Group

Studying with other people can be great for filling in the gaps in your knowledge and spreading out individual workload. Ask around in your classes to find others interested in collaborating, or see if your professors can help facilitate the formation of study groups!

For certain STEM classes, the Academic Skills Center provides Study Sessions to assist with learning, great for tackling GE classes. Information can be found here.

Can't Focus at Home? Shift Your Study Space!

Even without the library, there are tons of great spots to study on campus. Here is a list of some of the best:

  • The University Union
  • Building 81 - The William and Linda Frost Center for Research and Innovation
  • Dexter Lawn
  • Baker Lawn
  • Study Tents
  • Empty Classrooms

Go to Office Hours

Your professors are a great resource if you are confused about course material. They want to help you! The office hours for POLS professors can be found here.

Seek Out Academic Support

The College of Liberal Arts offers some great resources for those in need of academic support.

Drop-In Advising

  • The CLA Advising Center is available for drop-ins via zoom, email and phone! Learn more about drop-in advising here!

Campus Tutoring

  • Get free peer-to-peer learning support at the Writing and Learning Center! More information can be found on their page.

Prep for Your Tests

The Academic Skills Center has a handy list of suggestions for preparing for tests and exams. Check it out here!

Manage Your Time

Make sure that you're using your time efficiently to maximize the amount of time you have to study without burning out. Creating a calendar, planner, or to-do list is a great way to organize your time and get into a routine!

Make Sure to Get Enough Sleep

When swamped with schoolwork and a busy social life, it can be hard to get enough sleep every night. Check out this page from the Academic Skills Center on the importance of a good night's sleep and methods to ensure that you are sleeping enough!

Take Good Notes in Class

It can be tempting to try to write down everything a professor says in class, but you may end up forgetting the simple things that can make life a lot easier. These tips are little hints that we all know but sometimes forget. They can be summarized by four directives:

  • BE ALERT - so you are aware of and prepared for the lecture content
  • BE ORDERLY - so you can process the lecture now and for review later
  • BE SYSTEMATIC - so you can establish habits and patterns to avoid missing anything important
  • BE UP TO DATE - so that your well-designed note taking system gets done

Research also indicates that taking notes by hand is better for information retention. It may seem life more effort in the moment, but it will be super helpful when it's crunch time!

Fight the Urge to Procrastinate

It's always easy to say "I'll do it another time," but doing so makes things harder in the long run. Here are some tips to help help with procrastination:

  • Make the tasks look small and easy in your mind. ("I've written lots of excellent papers; this is just one more paper.")
  • Do only a small part of the task at a time. ("I'll just check out the books tonight. Later on, I'll glance through them.")
  • Five-minute plan: Work on something for just five minutes. At the end of five minutes, switch to something else if you want. Chances are, you'll get involved enough to keep going.
  • Advertise your plans to accomplish something, and let peer pressure push you forward. ("I told everyone that I was going to finish this tonight.")
  • Use a good friend as a positive role model. If you have trouble concentrating, study in the presence of someone who doesn't.
  • Modify your environment - If you can't study at home, find a place where you can study. Or, change your study situation at home.
  • Plan tomorrow and establish priorities - Some students find that simply writing down reasonable starting and stopping times help them get going.
  • Expect some backsliding. Don't expect to be perfect even when you're trying to get rid of perfectionism! So occasionally, your plans will not work. Accept setbacks and start again.

Remember, procrastination is reinforcing. Every time you delay, it reinforces your negative attitude toward that task. So, let's all build better habits make life easier for everyone!

Resources for First Generation Students

The POLS Department offers a number of resources for first generation students. They include student working groups, advising, and the Faculty Mentorship Program. Click here to find out more information about these resources!

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