College and high school can be an exciting time for students. At the same time, it can be overwhelming trying to juggle school work, extracurriculars, and down time. That is why I have compiled a list of resources that my friends and I have discovered over the years. Hopefully, you find a resource that can help you tackle your next school-related problem!
- Get a planner
This may seem obvious and you have probably seen this recommendation a million times. To be honest, however, this is not for everyone. This is for people who like to keep track of commitments and work visually. If you tend to forget about deadlines easily, then it might be a good idea to start keeping a planner. According to a study by researchers from Princeton and UCLA, writing things down helps with information retention and conceptual understanding.
If you are more tech savvy or prefer not to carry around a planner, you can always create a virtual planner or calendar.
Momentum is a browser extension that can be downloaded on Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Microsoft Edge. Everytime you start a new tab, Momentum will display a motivational quote, the time, the weather, and a to-do list. It will also prompt you to fill in your main focus of the day. What I found most helpful about this extension is the to-do list feature. I like to update it everyday and check off tasks as I’ve completed them. Since this page appears everytime I open up a new tab, it reminds me to finish my daily tasks.
There are plenty of organizations that offer educational content. One organization that my friends rave about is Khan Academy. They offer short video lectures on a variety of topics. It is a great resource if you have trouble understanding a concept and want an explanation from a different point of view.
Most high schools and colleges have centers dedicated to tutoring and academic success. If you don’t know if your school has one, be sure to ask a counselor or academic advisor.
We can’t forget to mention the POWAN Initiative and their amazing tutoring program. They offer free, live, and personalized tutoring. Students can set up a time to meet with a tutor over Zoom and go over any topic of their choice.
If you have trouble focusing while studying, then this technique may be for you. The Pomodoro Technique is a time management tool, where a timer is set in 25 minute intervals with a 5-10 minute break in between each interval. After a set of 3 intervals, students will typically take a 20-30 minute break.
My friend recommends using Marinara: Pomodoro® Assistant. It automatically times the work intervals and break sessions for you. An added bonus is that you can customize the length of the work intervals and break sessions.
- List of online Pomodoro Timer Extensions
- Understand your learning style
I feel like most of us have been taught in school that note-taking is the best way to learn and study. Note-taking, however, is not the only way to learn. I am a visual learner so I like to make charts and diagrams to connect ideas together. I also like to draw pictures to express concepts or terms.
Other alternatives to note-taking are: making outlines, using flash cards, and creating a study group. I have even created stories to memorize things like the periodic table. You don’t have to stick to one method either. Combining a variation of the methods can reinforce your learning!
Some people have optimal studying periods throughout the day. Are you a morning or night owl or somewhere in between? Figuring that out for yourself will help you set up the best time to study and maximize your learning capacity.
This should come as a no-brainer…cramming for tests is not an effective way to learn. You may be able to memorize everything the night before an exam, but cramming is not good for your long-term memory. You may regret cramming for tests or quizzes when you realize you forgot about a concept and need to relearn it for your midterm or final.
- Study with me tools
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Listening to music for study sessions was a must for my college friends. Everyone has their own music preference so I suggest trying different music genres when you study to see which one helps you focus the most.
I like to create a dedicated playlist for studying. That way I don’t spend all of my time looking for the right song instead of actually studying. My friends and about 8.75 million other people have found the lofi hip hop radio to be a game changer.
If you like the idea of study groups, but don’t actually want to meet up with people, there are a ton of “Study with Me” Youtube videos. People like to use these videos as motivation to study. There are also videos that use the Pomodoro method we mentioned in point 4!