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14 Tips For University Learning

It's not that uncommon to have troubles in university. These problems can usually be traced back to poor study skills. Luckily, that's nothing that can't be improved on with relative ease.

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1. Our Attitude Effects Our Learning

We are the masters of our own destiny.

By thinking positively, we are able to achieve positive outcomes. With our learning, we must be confident that we are able to (albeit with struggle) learn whatever it is we are asked/inclined to.

This belief is a primary base for all studying. If we set ourselves up for failure, this will only result in negative outcomes.

2. We All Have Different Learning Styles

VARK Learning Styles / Via pinterest.com

There are 7 different learning styles a person can follow. A person will often fit several; with one standing out predominantly as the most efficient way for them to learn.

Some learners are solitary, whereas some prefer a more social environment. Some identify as physical, and require learning to be "hands-on".

Logical learners require fact based teaching to form independent opinions.

Visual learners require images and graphing, whereas a Verbal learner will find themselves learning best from auditory cues. Aural learners also require auditory cues, but relate music to their learning for better comprehension.

3. We All Face Barriers To Success

There are barriers all around us, and they effect many things in our day to day lives. We'd all love to vacation (permanently) in Jamaica; with the exception of the barrier of having no money.

In learning, there are many barriers we may face. They can be tangible, or intangible.

Tangible barriers are those we can see. These include loan issues, health problems, and lack of sleep/nutrition.

Intangible barriers are those we can't see. These include anxiety, lack of self efficiency, and mental health.

4. Procrastination Slows Us Down

All right. I'm sitting down, got my textbook, laptop, coffee... I'm Good. Guess I'll complete this assignment... After an episode of Criminal Minds... Or all of Season 7.

We all procrastinate at different times. Some of us procrastinate at different activities than others. One person may procrastinate from housework, and another from their studies.

Often procrastination comes with excuses like "I'll do it tomorrow" or "It's not going to take that long anyways". Considering this can be an early warning sign to procrastination.

While procrastination has positive effects such as relief from any immediate stress and enjoyment from the activities undertaken while procrastinating; it also has several negative effects such as greater stress in future and having to rush to finish assignments.

With procrastination, the negative effects will often outweigh the positives.

5. Planning Is A Key To Success

While class time is important, it must be supplemented with a sufficient amount of studying in order to ensure retention of knowledge.

Students must be able to Prioritize what they are learning, Schedule time to learn it, and Follow Through on completing the work which they've undertaken.

For every hour in the classroom, students will require an average of 2 hours studying.

6. You Can't Study, What You Don't Understand

The first step to studying is defining the material which you are meant to study; and understanding what you are required to take away from such.

Students should carefully read their assignments, and take note of what they must complete in order to accomplish them.

Take notes, and write questions. When solutions to a question can be found, write citations to better track the process of your work.

Remaining organized will assist students in preparing any drafts and edits they are expected to complete.

7. Schedule Yourself Wisely

Overloading yourself with work often results in lower productivity.

Students must adjust their personal and study schedules to best fit their needs; based on how slow or fast an individual can learn a desired topic, and what other events in their lives might effect their level of retention.

By planning ahead and using weekly schedules or planners; a student can ensure their work is evenly distributed and prevent having to rush to finish assignments in time.

8. Make Reading Work For You

In university, there is frequently a ton of reading for students to do, with very little time to fully read all of them.

However, it should be considered that you might not know how to read... Or at least, you don't know how to get your reading to do the work for you. Consider reading in chunks, with breaks between a certain number of pages, a chapter, or whenever you feel like the words are starting to blur with distraction, whichever works for you.

Things like bold words and indexes are you best friends, so are chapter questions, to make sure that the information has sunk in.

9. Make It Noteworthy

Prep yourself for taking notes- this is where learning to read comes in handy, as rereading before taking your notes can help you re-evaluate what the key ideas are, which can help you, the student, find key words.

Key words are important because they are the main idea, and all other information is put into place to support and organize the main ideas. There are often 3-5 different key points within lectures.

Other important details are: abbreviate!, use symbols to point out key topics (or highlight whatever you need to study more), write labels, dates, and number your notes- so that it's easier to study your notes.

Also, label the different topics and use small diagrams to create complete notes.

10. Don't Get Overwhelmed

When feeling overwhelmed attempt to focus on one task until completion. By doing this you will make the rest of the tasks ahead seem less daunting.

11. Prepare Yourself Before Class

One of the best methods of studying happens before class begins. If you look over the material before class you are extending upon your knowledge during the lecture, not hearing it for the first time.

This can help you have a better understanding of the topics and be more proactive with your learning.

12. Embrace Public Speaking

Public speaking is a task many people detest.

To help combat this, one of the best methods is to come into the presentation very confident and to make sure you have a very good understand about what you're talking about.

It will be easier to speak fluently and with ease if you are very educated about the topic that you are speaking about.

13. Write for U: Academic Writing

In University, writing, particularly essays, become a common feat one has to do.

It is important to plan out what you're going to write- what are key points that need to be expanded on in your essay? This can be done using an outline. (One way to write a detailed essay is to create a check list of key points you must hit.)

Another important part of essay writing is the thesis statement- a thesis statement is supposed to be a single sentence that encapsulates the entirety of your essay. It is a definite claim that will be supported by the rest of your essay. However, a thesis sentence does not give an answer.

14. Take Care of Yourself! Self-Advocacy for students

Self-advocacy is an important thing for students to take part in, as it is impossible to keep on track if you aren’t healthy.

Ways to self-advocate include figuring out what you need to do or have put in place to succeed, and then work out a system to put into place. Say, writing essays is hard for you, so you talk to a professor about getting an extension, or extra help in understanding the assignment, and then make regular visits to the writing center on campus.

Reasons why it is hard to self-advocate are feelings like inadequacy- why can everyone else get this done, but you can’t?, another is the need to prove to yourself that you can do it by yourself, or that you had a system that worked before, but isn’t anymore, or even, you just don’t know what you need to succeed.

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