I am one of those students that has been in school for six years. When I first started school, I had an extremely difficult time balancing all of the things in my life at the time. I constantly felt the draw of my favorite television show, my friends wanting to hang out, all of the free things on campus, and all of the cool things going on in the city where I went to school.
In the beginning I rarely made school the main focus with everything else vying for my attention. Over the years I have found a couple of ways that I can personally vouch for that can help bring the focus back to school.
Here are my 10 tips to help you center yourself on school:
1) Create a mantra for yourself
Sometimes it can be hard to focus on school when you are stressed about school. A study by the Florida Department of Health and Florida State University showed that mantras can help to relieve stress. A good mantra to use is Michelle Kwan’s motto for life, “Work hard, be yourself, have fun.”
2) Imagine what you want your final grades to look like
Setting goals is a good way to establish a focus on what you are trying to do this semester. Deciding early on what grades you are willing to work towards can help give you something to aim for throughout the semester. It can also help you recognize where you need to spend the most time in order to achieve those goals.
3) Make friends
Not just any friends. Make friends with other students that are focused on the same subject as you. Students that have a community of people focused on learning are more likely to be successful in school, according to the Academy of Educational Leadership Journal.
For a healthy lifestyle it is always good to exercise. Sometimes it feels like exercising will take away from time spent on school, but just a couple of minutes can help rejuvenate you and give you that extra boost to help you focus on school. The Military Medicine Journal found that there is a positive impact on academic performance when a person involves themselves with aerobic activity.
5) Print out your class schedule and map out when you will study
Often we simply rely on the electronic version of our course schedule. If you take the time to print it out, though, you will benefit greatly. It is easier to write notes down about the classes. Taking the time to designate specific study periods can help you stick with your goal of getting good grades. You can schedule your time out online. But if you have a physical copy, you can post it on your wall or something so you can see it when you are not connected to your technology.
6) Stick to your schedule
There are some exceptions, like emergency dance parties or free pizza parties, but it is important to stick as closely to your study schedule as possible.
7) Plan ahead
Take the time to plan when you are going to take study breaks and what you are going to study when. It doesn’t need to be a strict plan, so allow for some leeway.
8) Make lists
The simple task of making lists can help save time and effort. Your working memory does not have enough space to hold all of the information and the stuff you want to learn and what you need to do, according to the journal Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics. So every night before going to bed, make a list of what needs to be done tomorrow.
9) Say no
Learning the art of saying no is arguably the most important skill for a college student. There will be many times when you are offered the opportunity to do things or join clubs that you may not have time for, or do not really need to do. All of the extra obligations that you sign up for take away from your school work.
Although it is great to join clubs and do activities, do not say yes to all of them. Only partake in activities that are really important to you and focus on school. The word “no” is often associated with negativity but it can be a way to give you back the power to control your life, according to Psychology Today.
10) Watch the news
In college it can be so easy to lose track of reality, between school and your social life. Reminders of the reasons why your education is important can often be found in being aware of what is going on in the world. Take the extra step to watch or read the news.Reviewed October 18, 2016
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith Read more in Being HER
1) Wolf, David. Examining the Effects of Meditation Techniques on Psychosocial Functioning. Research on Social Work Practice January 2003 vol. 13 no. 1 27-42 . doi: 10.1177/104973102237471
2) Michelle Kwan (Revised Edition) Page 9 Anne E. Hill Twenty-First Century Books, Aug 1, 2012
3) Bressler, L. A., Bressler, M. E., & Bressler, M. S. (2010). THE ROLE AND RELATIONSHIP OF HOPE, OPTIMISM AND GOAL SETTING IN ACHIEVING ACADEMIC SUCCESS: A STUDY OF STUDENTS ENROLLED IN ONLINE ACCOUNTING COURSES. Academy of Educational Leadership Journal, 14(4), 37-51.
4) Stephens, M. B., Dong, T., & Durning, S. J. (2015). Physical Fitness and Academic Performance: A Pilot Investigation in USU Medical Students. MILITARY MEDICINE, 180, 4:77, 2015.
Li, D., Cowan, N. & Saults, J.S. Estimating working memory capacity for lists of nonverbal sounds. Atten Percept Psychophys (2013) 75: 145. doi:10.3758/s13414-012-0383-z
5) The Power of No. Psychology Today. Retrieved October 12, 2016.