Today’s Daily Prompt challenges us to teach others something that we know how to do well.
In the Fall of 2007 my best guy friend and I took several classes together. This was the semester before our last semester and we were signed up for the required classes for our major (Psychology). Two of the classes we had signed up for were in conflict with my friend’s work schedule. The classes were taught by the same professor. My friend and I went to Dr. Psych’s office to ask if there was any way he could take the classes without actually physically being in the classroom. Dr. Psych looked at my friend and said, “If you have someone to take really good notes and to record the lectures, I will let you take the exams in my office.” My friend looked at me and gave me that I-owe-you-s0-much-for-being-the-most-awesomest-friend-in-the-whole-freaking-world smile. And he said, “I will feed you.” I was sold.
That semester was my most stressful semester of my undergrad years. But, I learned how to study like nobody’s business. And now I will share that knowledge with you.
If you are in a core college class, not one of those bs filler classes and you want to excel, then follow these steps:
- Buy a spiral notebook, college rule.
- Buy mechanical pencils.
- Buy a digital voice recorder.
- Buy rechargable batteries for the recorder.
- Buy a flashdrive.
- Buy the correct book for the class(es).
- Have access to Microsoft Word.
- Establish ONE study buddy, maybe two.
- Get to class about 5 minutes early so that you can get a seat in the first or second row of the classroom.
- As soon as the professor starts talking, start the recorder.
- Write EVERYTHING down. Everything that is written on the board, everything that is spoken. Write everything down.
- After class, take the recorder with you.
- Between classes type up your notes in Word. If you do not know what something in your notes mean or can’t read your handwriting, utilize the recorder and textbook.
- Save your notes to your computer AND to the flashdrive.
- Print out the typed notes.
- Get with your study buddy at least once a week to review the notes. If you do not know what something means, utilize the recorder and textbook.
- Memorize everything.
- Remembering, death by dying is the only way to do it. (If you mix MAOIs with fish, you could die. Just an fyi. When I asked my friend what happens when you mix the two he said, “Death.” I asked, “How?’ He responded, “By dying.” We hadn’t laughed so hard in weeks.
- Quiz each other every waking moment.
- Speaking of waking, make sure to get good sleep. I worked full-time and went to school full-time. I didn’t get much sleep. However, the sleep I got was good.
- On test days, relax. Be confident.
- After tests are done, celebrate regardless of how you feel you did on the exam.
- After exams are given back, celebrate because you just kicked ass.
I got a lot of free food that semester. And my friend got A’s in both of those classes. Dr. Psych is by far the hardest professor I’ve ever had. To get A’s in his classes was like winning the lottery.
So now you know how to study. You will laugh and cry and maybe even bleed. But the end result is definitely worth the pain.