They say your college years are some of the best years of your life. Between meeting new people and getting to know the campus, through to the nights out and the parties, it really can be such an exciting time! Of course, there’s also the lectures, assignments and exams to think about…
Point Campus is the perfect place to make your mark as a student. We provide you with the tools you need to have an amazing social and academic life. At Point Campus we’ve created the perfect spaces to support you in your studies, we’ve developed dedicated study zones throughout the Liffey & Tolka buildings, and of course, each of our en-suite rooms comes with a large desk space for you to study in privacy.
To help you get through this semester, we’ve created a list of our top study tips so that you can enjoy the more…well…fun aspects of your college life.
1. Have a Goal
One of the most important parts of studying or completing an assignment is setting yourself a goal. Does your essay require a certain word count? Are there set formulas you need to memorise for an exam? What’s the due date for your thesis?
You should aim to start every study session, by writing down a goal. It’s been proven that you’re over 40% more likely to achieve a goal when you’ve written it down.
2. Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail.
You now have a goal…great! So, what’s your plan to achieve the goal?
Let’s look at a simple example where you need to complete a 5,000-word essay, with a deadline of 2 weeks from now. Looking at a blank screen can be daunting and intimidating but let's first look at the goal and work backwards. If you break the essay into 5 x 1,000-word sections, spread out across 5 separate days, the essay suddenly looks a lot easier! Set aside 5 days over the course of the next fortnight where you will dedicate 1-2 hours to work on this and hey presto, you’re on your way to achieving that goal.
Another simple tip is to pack your college bag with all your necessary notes and books before you go to bed the night before – the same goes for your clothes, meal prep, anything. The fewer barriers there are, the more likely you’ll achieve that all-important goal.
Planning doesn’t just have to be for your academic life, it can be used in so many areas of your life.
3. Build a Routine
Having a set routine can be majorly beneficial in completing your assignments and fitting in quality study time. Do you have a free hour between lectures every Monday and Thursday? Use that time to get some work done! If you like to get your work done in a cafe, build this into a routine and find different cafes in the city to study in.
Building a routine doesn’t necessarily mean sitting in the same place, at the same time every day in order to get something done. Studies have shown that changing location can release dopamine which helps get you to a state of flow – just right to get you through that essay.
Learn more about this fascinating idea in Matt D’Avella’s video on ‘peak performance’ here.
Matt’s productivity channel also includes great tips on how to reduce procrastination and how to save money while in college.
4. Stop Procrastinating.
Stop it! In today’s world of the never-ending news cycle and social media, we know this is definitely easier said than done. One great study tip we stumbled across, during our research for this blog piece, was The Pomodoro Technique.
This time-management technique was developed in the 1980s. In simple terms, it suggests working and focusing on a specific task for no more than 25 minutes before taking a short break. Before setting your timer, decide on what tasks need to be done.
Take a 3-5-minute break between each 25-minute ‘set’ and after you complete 4 of these ‘sets’, take a 25-30-minute break. We’ve tried this technique ourselves and it’s extremely useful, we promise.
This goes without saying but try leaving your phone on airplane mode the next time you sit down to study or work on an assignment for college - your phone is a hub of distractions.
5. Share the Load
At Point Campus, you’ll find some amazing communal spaces, and a number of them are designed with group projects and collaboration in mind. Whether you’ve got a friend or fellow resident on the same course as you, or simply want some moral support, working in a group can definitely help with productivity! Our communal spaces, study areas and meeting places are perfect for group collaboration.
Check out this other ingenious technique that we spotted on Twitter, which you can use when in a lecture. A group of students created a shared Google Doc where they could all take notes for a particularly tough subject. This allowed students to underline or mark which bits they didn’t understand, and other students could then comment and help them. - Simple but effective!
6. Reward Yourself
We’ve saved the best for last... Don’t forget to treat yourself!
It’s important to recognise the hard work you do. Pick a nice treat like your favourite coffee in Dublin, a bar of chocolate or that Netflix show you’re obsessed with and reward yourself with it the next time you achieve an academic goal. Simple!
Who, what, where – get the inside track.
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