New semester, new you

Give yourself a fresh start in studying and organization this semester

Ashley Pelletier, Associate Arts and Life Editor

As the spring 2021 semester begins, the Quinnipiac University community is facing higher levels of COVID-19 than it did in the fall. There is only so much students can do to control the spread of COVID-19. However, they can control the habits they create for the new semester. 

Taking time out of your busy schedule to study and do homework can be tedious and stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. With the proper study habits, you will be able to take your learning into your own hands and feel better about it. 


  1. Avoid using your computer when you are studying if you can. After spending your day learning over Zoom, using blue-light screens to review can lead to even more eye strain. According to a survey in the Washington Post, 73% of people in their 20s show some symptoms of digital eye strain. If you have to work online, consider buying a pair of blue-light-filtering glasses that will lessen the stress on your eyes when looking at your study materials.


  1. Discover how you learn best. There are several learning styles that may apply to you. If you use these learning methods when you study, you will retain more information and find that it is easier to do so. There are four main types of learning: auditory, visual, kinesthetic and reading. 


  1. Auditory learners should try explaining tough concepts to a friend or reading your notes out loud. Visual learners may find that drawing charts and diagrams helps them absorb information better. Pacing while going over study materials can help kinesthetic learners. For those that learn through reading, traditional methods of studying such as rewriting and going over notes will help. 


  1. Once you learn how you learn best, it will be helpful to make a schedule to keep track of when you should be studying. This will ensure that you are reviewing each topic equally. For instance, make a goal that you want to go over course materials for each class for at least three hours a week. It does not have to be all at once, but make sure that you fulfill your requirement. If you find that you need more time to study for a certain class, simply adjust your goals and try again. 


  1. The best way to keep track of exams and assignments is through an online planner. There are many different options available including My Study Life, myHomework and Todoist. Currently, I am using Todoist, but each website has its own benefits. Try one out and see how it works for you. 

  1. If you find that you are having a hard time in your classes, reach out to the Learning Commons. It has many resources that are available to students including academic coaches, peer tutors and writing tutors. According to the Learning Commons page on MyQ, peer tutors are available for most 100-level courses as well as some higher-level courses. You can sign up for 30 or 60-minute sessions on its MyQ page.


  1. Reach out to your professor for help. Most professors have established office hours you can go to, but some will also be willing to make a Zoom appointment with you to go over the material you are struggling with. 


  1. Lastly, don’t forget to take care of yourself. While it is important to get your work done and study, you won’t be able to do that if you’re neglecting your needs. For instance, research shows that sleep plays a role in our memory consolidation, which solidifies our memory. Rather than cramming at the last second for an exam, get a good night’s sleep so that the knowledge you absorbed is retained in your memory. Make sure you stay hydrated, eat a balanced diet and take care of your mental and physical health. 

Remember, this is a new semester. You do not have to let your academic performance from previous terms define your achievement. There are always ways that you can improve.