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Demystifying Studying: A Student Perspective

Open books

This piece was written by communication intern Britney Rodriguez. Britney Rodriguez is currently undecided in what major she wants to pursue. She sees it as a learning opportunity to discover more about the pathways available at Bakersfield College. During her free time she likes to play games, watch anime, and spend time with family. Britney’s dream one day is to make her own Webtoon.

Note: Feel free to share this piece with your students if they are looking for some peer tips on studying.

I’m no professional, nor am I experienced in this topic. I’m a college student trying to improve myself and figure out what helps me best. I will be speaking about my own experience and the struggles I have dealt with in trying to study. Hopefully, some of the strategies I use for studying will also help you. And show that as your peer, you and I are no different than each other. I constantly fail and struggle, so do not feel you need to be the best at what you do to succeed. Like the story of the rabbit and the hare, “slow and steady wins the race.”

I didn’t have any good study habits and did not know how to study. At first, I assumed you just had to highlight and write notes for the lectures. I learned the hard way when I started to fail the first class I enrolled in. I ended up dropping the class. My mistake was not being realistic and not having good study habits. Studying takes a lot of dedication and effort. It’s a learning process that will allow you to retain information better and guarantee a higher chance of succeeding at school. It’s also something that is not possible to grasp after one day. 

I faced trials and errors while trying to study, like procrastinating, getting distracted, and making myself overwhelmed. I’ve been setting an organized schedule by dividing my school work. I take a screenshot of the assignment list, scribble things on a device, or use a planner. When I get distracted, I use noise-canceling headphones and hide my phone from my vision. I follow an “out of sight, out of mind,” approach so I’m not tempted to reach for my phone. I get overwhelmed by trying to handle too many things at once. This isn’t very encouraging; instead, I try to set a limit and finish as much as possible. 

Knowing my surroundings and being honest with myself has helped me to consistently improve my studying habits. What is making me distracted? Am I able to concentrate? Am I in the right mind-frame to start studying? I prepare myself physically and mentally before beginning so I’m not constantly getting up. I make sure to eat, take the dogs outside, use the restroom to limit distractions that might arise later.

I also try to speak, read, write, and listen to the materials. When I study, I use my senses, such as my vision and hearing. Listening to course materials first and then writing notes helps. It also helps to repeat things and read them over and over. I don’t necessarily have a particular study style; I tend to try different things. I’ve found it’s been helpful to experiment with different methods and I’ve even watched some YouTube videos with tips for studying. 

I understand that everyone processes information differently, and I could not find their approach not so helpful. Studying is based on knowing yourself and trying to understand who you are. For another look at a student’s advice on studying, check out “How to study a student’s perspective.”


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