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Students reflect on and revise old study habits

Published: Sunday, January 13, 2013

Updated: Sunday, January 13, 2013 22:01

After a weekend filled with congested traffic and friendly reunions, the entire student body settled back into their college lifestyles and readied themselves for a new semester of routines to come this week as the spring semester kicks off.

But while a new semester means new clothes, classes and school supplies for most of those enrolled, many students also take this time to evaluate what they did right and wrong during the fall in order to better prepare for the weeks and months ahead.

“I’d say my study habits from last semester were pretty good,” Samantha Salinas, sophomore psychology major said. “A lot of it was making sure to manage my time properly between school, organizations and social time. I know there’s a lot of room for improvement and hopefully I can do better this spring now that I have a better feel for it.”

While most students return with a set study pattern, for the freshmen who enrolled for the first time during Fall 2012, the prospect of a new semester can mean a time to fully immerse themselves into the academic experience.

“My fall semester didn’t go as well as I’d hoped, but in reality it went as well as expected,” Zachary McIlvoy, freshman mechanical engineering major said. “I definitely had to adapt my study habits.”

A problem not just associated with freshmen, balancing school work with the tempting social life of a college town can be tough. To aid students with this problem, A&M’s Student Counseling Services posts a list of basic study techniques on their website to help students achieve their academic goals. High on their list are suggestions to understand what your professor means – instead of writing down his every word– to attend class, of course, and to keep distractions such as the Internet away.

“Avoid little distractions such as Facebook and Reddit,” Austin Jones, junior molecular and cell biology major said. “They may be small distractions, but over time they add up into huge handicaps.”

Student Counseling Services also emphasized the importance of regularly reviewing class material, as well as considering not only that you study, but how you study.

“Balancing how many people I work with at one time and still get the benefits of cooperation is a big element for me,” McIlvoy said. “I found homework to be easier in a group because I could ask quick questions if I needed to, but for tests it was more effective for me to learn, and then study the material alone.”

From group studying to attending tutoring, and even to locking yourself in a room by yourself, every individual has his or her own unique way of studying – they just have to find what works for them.

“I’d say definitely go to any study seminars on Campus, or even a class on study tips,” Salinas said. “It sounds cheesy, but even if the time may feel like a waste, I almost guarantee you will find a technique that you never thought of using but that still works.”

Every student learns and studies differently, and perhaps the best way to an A is learning how you personally retain information the best.

“I learned most of my note taking style and time management from freshman year,” Salinas said. “It’s a trial and error process, but once it works, you’ll be set.”


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