October means a lot of things in The Gator Nation, but one is sure to stress you out: midterms. Don’t worry; we’re here to help! If you’re a freshman looking for advice on how to navigate your first year in Gainesville, submit your questions, and, as always, we’ll provide an answer.
Question: “How do you find an appropriate balance between studying and going out on the weekends?”—Anonymous
Answer: As a freshman, I spent every waking hour with my nose in a book. I worried that I studied way more than the average student and that I would never have the chance to make the most of my college experience.
The sooner you become adjusted to studying like a college student, the better your chances at making your time at UF the best years of your life. Here are a few study tips I learned along the way:
1. Lose your high school mentality. You can’t get through college assuming the work won’t be difficult or thinking you only need to skim every other page of your textbook. You need to have realistic expectations of your coursework in order to best implement efficient study habits. This should start with remembering you aren’t in high school anymore.
2. Study every day. Set aside time each day, even if it’s only 30 minutes, to read your course material or work a few problems. Repetition helps you remember the information. Plus, you won’t be forced to spend Saturday night at home reading the chapter you already finished reading on Thursday.
3. Find a study location that works for you. It’s crucial to make the most out of the time you spend on homework. You shouldn’t get distracted, you shouldn’t reread the same page 5 times, and you shouldn’t be focused on your surroundings. Every minute you spend studying should be spent on actually studying.
4. Learn what time of the day works best for you. I retain much more information reading late at night than I ever would early in the morning. Being successful in college means learning what works for you and acting on that understanding. Use your time to the best of your ability by doing the most time-consuming, challenging, or important work when your mind is at its best.
5. Use a planner. Yes, seriously. A planner will help you to manage your time most effectively, so your weekends can be spent at Midtown – not in the library. Use the planner to write down the times you are going to devote to studying each day and the tasks you need to have completed each week. Plan your week so day or nights you want to go out are free of studying.
It’s too easy to get caught up revolving all of your time around your studies and foregoing the remainder of your college experience. College is certainly about your classwork, but it’s also about the friends you’ll make, the connections you’ll establish and the experiences you’ll have.
Remember: If you need guidance on your freshman journey, submit questions! We’ll answer you in our next blog.
Shae Rollins, a 19-year-old UF biological engineering freshman, takes a study break with friends in Marston Science Library.