School Tips

This is purely just me writing a note to myself here, because at the beginning of EVERY school year I always ask myself “how on earth did I study last year?” this is a problem for me because I can never remember exactly how on earth I studied the year before, and therefore, my study habits change every year.  So I am attempting to break the cycle and give myself a reference to use.  If anyone else wants to use this to try out new methods of studying or whatever, go right a head.  In September, especially if I have new profs, I trying a bunch of different ways of learning/studying/etc, so I will probably update this.


  1. Being proactive will save thy ass.
  2. Figure out how thy best learns, for surely that will help thou in the future.
  3. Update thy outlines at any chance thou receives.
  4. Sleep may be for the weak, however sometimes thou needs to accept that thou is a  pansy.
  5. Post it notes will also save thy ass.
  6. Create a Holy Board of “Shit I Must Get Done Pronto/This Week”.
  7. The Library is a God sent space of productivity
  9. Always have coloured markers near by
  10. Remember that thou needs to take care of thyself–work hard, but also plan breaks + get out and talk to people. DON’T BE A HERMIT.

Don’t ask about the Shakespearean…I don’t even know why I did that. I hate English.

I should probably explain some of these things.

#1 is pretty self explanatory.  Be get stuff done ASAP and BOOM! Very little stressful times for you.

#2 One of my high school teachers told me to do this, but being the lazy person I am, I was like “ya right, I know myself.  It shouldn’t be too hard.” However, in high school I thought I was pretty smart.  Then I went to university, and I found out the reason I thought I was smart was because I had memorized everything I learned in high school. That was a bad idea.  In Uni, you actually have to know your shit.  Figure out what will produce deep, meaningful learning.  Are you a visual, auditory or kinesthetic learner?  Do you remember things best by writing it out?  Talking it out with your peers?  How I study for my Chemistry classes, is when I studying a concept, I keep on asking myself “why?” until I get to a basic concept.  This really forces me to understand the content.  I also write out outlines for all of my classes, because that forces me to go over the course content.  Textbook questions that your profs assign can also be helpful.

#3 This goes with #1 I try to keep most of my outlines updated.  I usually use the weekends to update all my outlines, unless I have a major project to work on.  This will mean that when it comes to crunch time, you pretty much have everything ready to go, you just need to actually study!

#4 While its extremely important to get work done, it’s also extremely important to get more than 6 hours of sleep per night for me.  If I go more than 3 nights without more than 6 1/2 hours of sleep, classes magically seem VERY painful.  Also, it is super important to get a good night’s sleep right before a midterm!

#5 I didn’t do this in my second year, but I remember that in my first year that putting up post it notes around my room, in addition to having a desk calendar really helped me keep on top of everything.  Also, desk calendars are the greatest thing ever, but I learned this year that the desk calendar MUST BE VISIBLE AT ALL TIMES OR ELSE IT ISN’T AS USEFUL.

#6 I love my white boards.  If you are in the sciences, I highly recommend getting a white board (or two) and getting some really fun coloured markers, because black is boring.  This could just be my art minor coming through, but I love to have colourful notes (more on this in #9).  Anyways, I have this big white board which I usually write down a schedule for the week.  It really helps me plan so that I only have to spend a 1/2 hour at a time on things I have to do (minus lab reports).  The schedule is more so helpful in planning essays for more artsy courses like English or Psych. However, for the sciences, it’s nice to be able to figure out problems on a white board and not waste paper.  I know that one of my friends loves using her white board for math problems.

#7 If you have a library close at hand–try using it!  I know going to the library really helped me focus, because I don’t have stuff to distract me, like boxes of food.

#8 Self explanatory…ties in with #1

#9 I discovered that writing down key words in coloured markers in my Chemistry outlines has really helped me remember things.  Since I took this year off of art, I like to incorporate a little bit of art into my chemistry notes by writing all of the important stuff in colour schemes.  Again, this is just my minor in art coming out in my studying, feel free to use whatever colours you want.  Also, while all the important stuff is coloured, I usually try and put all of the examples in pencil (because sometimes I screw up a molecule and its nicer to erase than have scribbled out notes).

#10 Plan breaks!  I try and motivate myself to study by planning breaks to look forward to.  Also, I learned in a time management class, that it is better to work shorter periods/have breaks because when you’re studying for a really long time, you only really remember what you started studying at the beginning and what you finished studying on.  Thus, it is better to study in shorter periods…ie/ 1 hour blocks.


Just as an additional side note, I’ve found that if I REALLY need to get several things done, it helps me to work on one thing for 20-30 minutes and then switch to the next thing, then repeat in a cycle.  This keeps me from getting too bored.  I recommend this for anybody who is like me and has a short attention span.

Remember, if you’re really struggling with a concept, ask your prof! They have a Ph. D in the area, and also you’re paying them to give you a quality education!


2 thoughts on “School Tips

  1. Pingback: Back to School: Surviving Classes | that chem student

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