What would you like to do tonight, college student? How about studying for two or three hours? Joy!
You can do that if you want, but wouldn’t your rather go to a movie or to the rec center? Wouldn’t it be better to keep your nights and weekends free from studying so you can do something fun? What if you could do that and still get the grades you want?
How, you ask? Let me tell you a little secret that top students know. While you are on campus during the day you’re stuck. It’s not like you can do the stuff you really want to do (duct tape your roommate’s bed to the ceiling, stare love bullets into the eyes of that special someone, play online poker, etc). You end up wasting time on stuff that’s only fun because there’s nothing else to do.
Take that wasted time between classes when you hang out at the student center or at the campus coffee shop, and use it for study. If you do it now, on campus, during the day, then you don’t have to do it in the evening or on the weekend when there are some real possibilities for entertainment.
Here’s how to put this into practice. [hidepost]First, make sure you have all your study materials with you. The best way to do that is to take inventory before coming to campus that day. I know people who–just to be safe–carry every book they own, every day. While this does create rock-hard calves, it also gets your chiropractor as excited as a shih tzu in a sausage factory. So know which books you will need and make sure they’re in your backpack. You should always have all your class notes with you as well.
Now take advantage of every spare minute on campus, even the time spent walking between classes. Treat it as if this is a job for which you are getting paid ludicrous amounts of money, but you are getting paid by the minute, and the boss is looking over your shoulder all day long with a stop watch in hand. You only get paid if you are studying.
As you walk, pull out those notes and quiz yourself. Imagine you are teaching a class of rather dim-witted eight-year-olds. Explain and rexplain and expand to try to get the ideas across. If you have time to actually go sit down somewhere between classes, then you can pull out one of those books and get some reading or some problem sets done.
Here’s another way to look at it if you aren’t quite convinced. Let’s say you have three hours of class time on a typical day. Coming to campus at 8 AM and leaving at 5 PM gives you nine hours on campus, only three of which are actually spent in class. That leaves you six hours a day to study. Even if you take a five-minute break every thirty minutes or so, spend an hour eating lunch with your honey, and take a thirty minute nap on a library couch, you still have over four hours! That’s four hours you don’t have to spend studying at night or on the weekend.
Bonus; your friends never see you studying and think you are a frikkin genius, and total strangers will offer you wads of cash the size of your head to tutor them.[/hidepost]