Starting college or even entering a new school requires an ability to easily adapt to a new environment. The changes are exciting and overwhelming at the same time: new experiences, new people, new commute routine, new budget arrangements. Plus, you may find it hard to balance your student life and your work (if you have one).
Here are some helpful tricks that will make your student life simpler in your new environment. This will guide you to improve your productivity and do every task in a smart and easy way.
Establish an income generating habit
It is really difficult to study and work at the same time. It requires determination, planning, time-management, and sheer effort. As a student, what kind of job which you think will help you to earn, be creative, and study at the same time? First of all, it’s something part-time and flexible. Dog-walking, babysitting, waiting tables on evening shifts.
Then, there are online options. Some students provide tutorials for others – why not if they are good at a particular subject? Besides, it’s a good teaching practice. Some write essays for sale because constructing arguments is something that comes naturally to them. Whichever appeals most to you, you should look for a balanced relationship between doing what you love and making money to meet your financial needs.
Color-code your lecture notes
You may think of colored pens as just a fancy way to make your notes look pretty. But they have some practical advantages too. They help to accentuate important information and give more structure to your notes, which is beneficial for future revisions, especially if you are a visual learner. Moreover, the very act of picking another pen to highlight something will ping your brain to pay attention and create an anchor for your memory. This habit will make you follow the lecture instead of zoning out – your mind will stay alert and have no time to wander.
The important bit is being consistent. For example, you can use red pens for the general ideas, blue for detailed descriptions and explanations, and green for some interesting side-notes. Apply the same pattern in all your notes and make a list of categories with their matching colors to prevent frustrations. Just be consistent and it will naturally come into your mind what is the meaning of these colors without using a list.
Give a heads up to a friend before doing a class presentation
If you are nervous about public speaking and have to give a presentation, there is a trick to give you more confidence. Talk to a classmate and ask him or her to raise a hand and ask a question after you gave the presentation. Of course, you will know the question beforehand – that’s the trick. This way, you can prove to your instructors that you are well-prepared and did complete research by answering the question in detail.
Another thing to give you confidence is to make sure that your audience is engaged and reacts well to your presentation. Entertain them: crack a science-related joke, use a relevant meme for illustration, use an eye-catching background to highlight important ideas and facts – don’t let them fall asleep.
Use sound machines for concentration
Tune in to a harmonious classical radio or a sound machine with white noise or natural soothing sounds when you start a studying session. Normally, this is the stuff they recommend you when you want to easily fall asleep. However, this kind of sounds is also great for focus – and focus is crucial for processing and retaining information. Moreover, smooth music and nature sounds will have a calming effect if you are stressed and nervous about looming tests. When you are relaxed, you are more productive.
There is a plethora of free online radio stations with classical and jazz music, sounds of nature like the breaking of the ocean waves, chirping of birds, raindrops on leaves, rustling of the wind in the grass. If this is not your cup of tea and you feel better with something more invigoration, try playing your favorite album or even your favorite track on repeat. Whatever floats your boat, music is magic.
Use cloud services to eliminate the risk of data loss
When working on an assignment, make use of Google Docs, Evernote or another online platform of your choice that allows creating, editing, and sharing documents, spreadsheets, and media presentations. This way you can access your materials from any internet-connected device, anytime, anywhere. If your laptop dies on you, you won’t lose your 50-page project. If traffic collapse forces you to stay over at your friend’s place you will still be able to finish your essay and submit it before the deadline.
Cloud services saved my bacon quite a few times. No one likes old-school stuff like I do, but let’s be reasonable – in the 21st century, a typewriter is not the most efficient tool.