The halfway point of every semester can become stressful for many students. It’s likely that you’ve had a test or two by now, or maybe even a midterm. It’s also a great time to tweak your study skills, improve your learning, and take care of yourself. Compiled below, Jared LaPointe ’23 shares some of his favorite tips for doing just that.

 1. Get Organized

The best way to be on top of your game in college is through organization. I use several different methods and tools to stay organized. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Use a planner. I use an interactive planner on my iPad that I can also access on my phone––it makes it easy to check and update it throughout the day. Track your assignment progress, due dates, work schedules, and life events to keep everything organized in one place. You can pick up a free academic planner in the Office of Career and Academic Services if you prefer that method instead.
  • Organize your notes, homework assignments, and tests into different categories. Keeping resources for each class in separate folders on your iCloud or OneDrive account will save you time when you’re searching for things.
  • Make a schedule or routine for yourself. Setting aside time for various responsibilities and activities prevents procrastination. Scheduling your life may seem daunting, but in the end, it will give you with more time to spend with friends and for self-care.

2. Use Study Tools

Depending on your preferred method of learning, different tools are available to help. Below are some of my favorite study tools and tips for different types of learning styles:

  • Flashcards. This is a traditional one, but I find it helpful when memorizing terms and key concepts.
  • Join or create a study group. Studying with other students in the same class will spark collaboration and help you stay on track.
  • Eliminate all distractions. By putting your devices on “do not disturb” or turning them off, you will minimize the urge to do something else.
  • Record yourself reading your notes. Reciting your notes to your phone camera like a speech will help you retain the knowledge. I use this method when I have complex topics to remember, like historical events or concepts. Think of it as telling a very informational story!
  • YouTube. YouTube is a great resource for different educational purposes. There are plenty of videos explaining topics or applying concepts to real-life scenarios.
  • Mnemonic devices. Associating terms and concepts with different phrases and/or actions will keep information fresh in your mind.
  • Take breaks. Don’t try to study for several hours at once because it will just make you tired. Take a 10-minute break every hour while studying.

3. Self-care

It’s important to take the time to take care of yourself. Here are some of my favorite methods that I use to clear my mind.

  • Listen to music. When you wake up in the morning, listen to music instead of checking your phone notifications. You’ll start the day with a clear mind instead of feeling overwhelmed by texts, emails, and assignments.
  • Affirmations. One of the most efficient ways to keep your self-esteem high is to repeat affirmations either out loud or in your head.
  • Dedicate time for hobbies. You may not always have the time to pick up or continue a hobby, but when you do, you will feel fulfilled.
  • Do nothing… intentionally. You don’t always have to be doing something productive. Watch a feel-good show, read a book, or just lay in bed and relax!

Jared LaPointe ’23 is a junior educational studies major with a concentration in higher education and residence life at Hiram College. He is a resident assistant, President of the Education Club and Treasurer of Presence and Respect for Youth Sexual Minorities (PRYSYM). Jared is also an intern for the Office of Strategic Marketing and Media Relations.