GOOG HABITS FOR PRODUCTIVE STUDENTS : Good habits can be key to gaining some control of your hectic life and having a positive outcome. While establishing good habits is rarely easy, it'll be worth the result while making you a better student and better prepared for life after school.
Go to class; Pay attention
Duh, right? Maybe not as much as you think. Once the initial interest of a new class wears off and you're three-fourths through the semester and bored, you may be tempted to just tune out or doodle during some o f those monotonous lectures on astronomy. But pay attention and take notes because the more you attentively listen to, the more material will stick in your brain. This will help when it comes time to study for finals-you won't feel as clueless and wonder if you missed class that day.
Hand in hand with that is going to class. You can't absorb the material, boring though it may be, if you aren't there. If for no other reason than your GPA, attending class is a necessity. Professors write off students who don't seem to care and are then less forgiving when it comes to final grades or needing a deadline extension for an assignment.
Don't cram for the exam
Most of us have been told that cramming is ineffective, but do you know why? Cramming shoves all that last minute information into your short term memory-which is generally used for unimportant things, like what you ate for breakfast yesterday. The brain does not transfer information into long term memory unless that person makes repeated efforts to remember it (for example, throughout the entire semester).
Beyond the futility of cramming, it can also confuse you regarding the information you already know and cause overall frustration and anxiety about the exam.
Get enough sleep
With tuition bills mounting, working full-time or nearly full-time while simultaneously having a full class load may seem like the only option-and that probably means you're cutting down your average hours of sleep per night. Not a good idea. It probably won't be worth it in the long run. As you try getting by on just a few hours of sleep per night it will likely have an effect on your academic performance because your ability to pay attention, concentrate and study will be impaired.
If you're like a large percentage of college kids you'll work up a sleep "debt" during the week and then sleep in several extra hours on the weekend. As tempting as it is, don't sleep more than an hour or two longer than usual. Getting a radically different amount of sleep two days a week will throw off your body's internal clock. By the time it gets readjusted during the following days it will almost be the weekend again-where the cycle starts all over again.
All that to say: get some sleep. It'll keep your immune system stronger (which means you're less likely to miss class because you're sick) and keep your performance high.
Exercise. You're probably genuinely exhausted and the very word "exercise" makes you even more lethargic. This is how the story probably goes: Each day is so hectic that it's often too difficult or too inconvenient to find time to go for a jog or make a trip to the gym. Then, by the time you get home for the day all you want to do is veg out and put your feet up (aka, not exercise).
But really, if you can get up the willpower to pull your gym shoes on and get a half-hour of exercise you'll be doing yourself a favor. Much to your surprise, you might even feel more energetic once you're done-which can help prepare you for whatever tasks or homework still need to get done. After all, once you're turning your mind back to the textbooks, studies show that both brain activity and development are benefitted by exercise.