Your Worst Study Habits.. And How to Break Them

Alex at College Candy writes...

Almost every college student suffers from a bad study habit or two (or 1,237….) – something you just can’t seem to break or get over. But fear not, I’m here to help! As a reformed terrible studier, I feel like I’ve got the experience and know-how to lead you all on the road to a better GPA before it’s too late.

Trust me, I know how hard it is to break these habits, especially the ones you’ve been working at for four years, but it’s definitely worth it. Keep your eye on the prize and get moving.

Bad Habit: Neverending Facebooking Ever since this little devil popped up in 2003, vulnerable college students have spent their valuable study time creeping that hot guy down the hall or following the drama currently happening on the quad. Seriously, you might as well just pack up the books and go see for yourself because you will not get anything done when Facebook is on. Now, I have some friends who recommend completely de-activating your account for exam season, but I think that’s a bit extreme, especially when some people (myself included) use Facebook as the sole form of communication between cousins all over the world.

The Fix: I’ve found keeping my laptop on the other side of the room or turning off my internet connection to be useful. By doing that, you make it way more difficult to get your creep on. Seriously, just having to get up or switch on Airport gives you more time to consider if changing your status is really a good idea. However, if you really can’t resist, let yourself “creep” to your heart’s content on 15 minute breaks. This is going to be something you need to wean yourself off of, so set Facebook breaks in between study intervals that get longer and longer each time. Example: Break after half an hour, then 45 minutes, then an hour and so on until you’ve realized that you’re not really missing anything. PS – This goes for any website you seem to addicted to (even CollegeCandy!).

Bad Habit: Studying with Friends In my early years of college, I would get together with groups of 6 or 8 and try to study for an exam. The problem with this is that as soon as two people lose focus and start chatting, the whole group is compromised. And guess what? We never got more than a chapter done in a couple of hours at these mega sessions. At the end of the day, they were a huge waste of time. (Literally…I’d spend all day getting nothing done.)

The Fix: First up, avoid the large study groups. They never work. Now, if you want a single study buddy, do a test run. Get together to just review material from your last lecture and see how focused your new friend can be. This way, you’re not putting your grade in danger. And if you’re approached by someone who you know isn’t serious, it’s okay to say no. I used to be a total people-pleaser, sacrificing my important study-time to help out a “friend.” But now I’ve realized that it’s more important to make sure that I get a good grade than help out every random slacker from class. It’s okay to be a little (or a lot) selfish when it comes to school! Bottom line: bad study buddies are a surefire way to drop your grade, so choose CAREFULLY.