Skip to content
Make student studying for a college class.

School is back in session! For college students, it’s time to meet or reunite with friends, design your dorm room, and learn about fun campus activities. To start classes off right, build good study habits early. It will help you feel more organized, prepared, and ready to take on your course load. Imagine if you have a study plan in place before midterms. You could potentially make your experience less stressful and be more invested in your academic journey. Check out these tips to get started.

Introduce Yourself to Your Professors

This sounds intimidating, but this is such an important part of the college-going process. Whether you are in a class of 20 or 200, college faculty want to know their students. It may seem uncomfortable at first, but it could help you find success in college.

For example, I took Geology as a class requirement. This class was not my vibe. The first day we focused on the syllabus and our professor’s expectations. After class, I introduced myself to her. I was honest and said I was nervous about this course but was going to do my best. Over a month later, the professor saw me in class and asked how I was doing. She even asked if I needed additional support or resources. She was mindful of my nerves and wanted to offer help.  

Don’t Wait to Ask Questions

When you don’t understand a concept, ask questions. You deserve to get clarification on something that does not make sense. Class instructions are set up intentionally and there are reasons why topics are taught in a specific order. If you are confused about what is being discussed in week two, it will make it harder to understand week eight. It’s best to ask questions right away. It will only help you with the rest of your coursework.

Find Your Study Spot

Take the first few weeks to find your study spot. Finding this spot early can be helpful when your homework schedule piles up. Make this process fun! It may be an opportunity to check out new parts of campus or a local coffee shop.

Just remember, you want your spot to be a space where you can focus. If you feel you are looking more at the environment than your books, it’s probably not your study spot. This space should be comfortable and allow you to be productive. Where you study is equally important to how you study.

Build A Routine Early

Once you have your class schedule, start creating your routine. Consider the times when you want to study, hang out with friends, your work schedule, and when to relax/decompress (this is important). When you have a schedule created, start doing it! Getting into the routine early will help you get in sync. Even when you have a short homework checklist, still utilize your study time to complete your assignments. If you finish early, that means more time for fun. Building this habit at the beginning of the academic year will be beneficial for your success.

Find Your Focus

How do you stay focused on your homework? There are many ways we can be distracted from our assignments. It is important to think about ways you can get your work done.

First off, are you someone who can study with other people? If you feel you cannot get something done with certain friends, they may not be the ideal study partners. Make time to hang out with friends and give yourself the time to study.

Secondly, can you study with music or other noise, or do you need quiet? Again, be honest. Every person is different. Whatever works for you is great, just make sure it helps you stay focused.

Finally, think about how you can minimize distractions. Hint, how can you stay off your phone and social media? On your devices, use the screen time control feature or limit the usage times. Consider using a Pomodoro timer. This is a method when you do 25 minutes of focused work with a 5-minute break. You do this four times and then give yourself a 15-minute break.

Check out these recommended focus timers.

Find Tutoring Resources

Learn more about the campus tutoring services. Do this early and utilize them whenever you need them. Tutors want to help you be successful. They understand you will have questions and will be confused with course content.

Going to a tutor can seem like a humbling experience, but it is awesome to use them. It shows you are human and need additional guidance to do well. Just getting the information about these services will set you off on solid footing.

Do Your Best- Don’t Be Perfect

As you begin the school year, remember it’s about doing your best, not being perfect. This experience is filled with positive and learning opportunities. Learn to be flexible and kind with yourself. College is an ideal time to start a “do your best” mindset. You are not meant to be perfect and that is a good thing. You are meant to always learn and grow.

You deserve to have a great college experience. Start building study practices early and you will do amazing things.

By Alex Jurgens