Study habits to kick off the year

There are several different, efficient ways to study through out college, the important thing is to find them. (Olivia Stenger/Daily Campus)

As the school year begins, students at the University of Connecticut are looking for ways to use their study time in the most efficient way while retaining as much as information as possible.

Coming back from the summer and getting back into the swing of things may be a challenge for most students who use the summer months to get away from the stress of classrooms.  Therefore it might be beneficial for students to really find what the best method is and place in which they learn.

Several sites, such as Nootropic Watchdog,  list study hacks which could help students work more efficiently and learn class content better.

Nootropic’s list includes taking a learning type test and finding out if you are a visual, audio, kinetic or a combination learner.

Junior journalism and human rights major Tama Moni knew early on in her education. Her math teacher in eighth grade told her she was a visual learner. Later on, she took a test confirming this, and before coming to UConn she retook the test. The results once again said she was a visual learner.

“Drawing stuff, making diagrams, taking detailed notes, sitting in front of the class to really see what the professor wrote really helps,” Moni said.

The article also talks about variation; students often pick the same spot in the library or in their dorms to study. A New York Times article cites that simply changing a study spot can help the brain with memorization.

“In one classic 1978 experiment, psychologists found that college students who studied a list of 40 vocabulary words in two different rooms — one windowless and cluttered, the other modern, with a view on a courtyard — did far better on a test than students who studied the words twice, in the same room. Later studies have confirmed the finding, for a variety of topics,” according to the article.

Next time, maybe instead of taking your Dunkin Donuts iced coffee to the first floor of the library, you could go to a classroom or a study lounge in your building.

A traditional classroom limits the way in which a student can learn and educators can teach. Most students have heard from their professors and teachers that writing notes by hand will help you retain information.

Natalia Rojas, a senior journalism major has found that re-writing her notes after class is a great way to help her study and memorize things.

“I just write things over and over again to memorize them. It’s time consuming, but it works,” Rojas said.

Back when she was a freshman, Rojas had to take Press in America, a course with a lot of content about the different eras of journalism.

Rojas said it was particularly helpful to rewrite the notes she took during lecture.

PowerPoints are an easy way for professors to give notes and talking points during their lectures, and students will often simply copy the information as it appears.  

Though not everyone uses this method, some professors make it available for students to revisit PowerPoints outside the classroom.

“Most of my professors upload notes, but that’s a slippery slope for me. If I rely on those PowerPoints, I usually don’t invest as much time in the material,” Mike DeMarco, a senior computer science and engineering major, said.

Two things that college students usually lack are sleep and a good diet, and these really do have an impact in how you study, according to the article by Nootropic.

“When you feel pushed for time, or want to get as much studying done as possible, a pack of Oreos and a can of Monster Energy drink may seem like a great idea for an emergency meal,” the article reads. “But, poor food choices, especially junk food high in simple sugars, will lead to sugar highs and crashes.”

Then, there is sleep, something that is lacking in the lives of a majority of students. The University of Georgia Health Center says most college students sleep between 6 and 6.5 hours per night. This severely impacts the way students memorize and how awake they are in class.

UConn and professors offer numerous services to aid their students, such as the Q and Writing Centers at the library, office hours, and other opportunities  that students can take advantage of.