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Study Tips I wish I had in College

Tara Patwardhan sheher

By Tara Patwardhan sheher14 Dec 2021

In university, I had always set big study goals set for myself - goals that I knew, in the back of my mind, would not be achievable. You might be wondering why I’m being so hard on myself. You might even say, “Come on now, you can do anything you set your mind to!” While I do think it’s advantageous to set big goals for oneself, I am also of the belief that in order to actually reach these goals, one needs to make actionable steps. These steps need to be based on reality. And progress will happen with incremental increases from reality. This is not something I did. I would always compare my studying habits to the habits of my peers (a terrible place to start), and found that I would always feel guilty or ashamed of myself when I didn’t study for 4 hours a day until 12am like those in my class. Last year, while I was studying for the GRE, I realized that I was actually starting to reach my study goals. You know why? It was because I was forced to study by myself, as a result of COVID-19. I didn’t compare my studying habits to anyone else, I only took inspiration from the blogs and youtube videos I saw. I couldn’t believe it! In my case, comparison was unknowingly killing my study habits. Here’s some tips that I’ve learned over the past year that I wish I had while actually in college. Set goals that are based on your current study habits. If you can’t study for more than 30 minutes at a time, that’s fine! Take a break after those 30 minutes, do something else, and come back to studying. Then slowly increase your studying time, and you’ll find that you’re able to focus for longer and longer every day. Use the pomodoro technique - Similar to the previous tip, the pomodoro technique is based on the fact that humans can only properly concentrate for 30-40 minutes at a time. Study for this amount of time, take a short 5-minute break, and come back to it. Repeat this 4-5 times, and then take a 30 minute break. This provides structure to your study routine as well. Switch up your study space - whether that be your kitchen table, your desk, a coffee shop, or the park. By switching it up, you’ll prevent monotony from setting into your routine and you’ll be able to focus much better. That’s all from me! Remember, your study routine is just that - your own!