5 Mistakes NOT to Make as a Student

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As students, we are in a perpetual state of learning. A significant portion of our day is spent learning, and figuring out how to optimise time and our studies, and doing it well is a feat in and of itself.

From time management missteps to neglecting self-care, these pitfalls have the potential to derail your progress and impact your overall well-being. By being aware of these challenges and learning how to sidestep them, you can pave the way for a more focused, productive, and rewarding student experience. So, let's delve into the essential strategies for steering clear of these common errors and setting yourself on the path to academic success.

1. Not Learning How to Learn

Learning is a fundamental aspect of student life and life in general, and it is something that so many people get wrong. It is crucial to understand that there is no set way to learn effectively for everyone; it changes from person to person and an important step to take is to figure out which is more effective for you.

While you can stick to the usual re-reading, note-taking, highlighting, and underlining as methods to learn, give yourself the opportunity to try other methods. Implement videos into your learning, active recall, spaced repetition, interleaving, and categorising into your learning system.

Try out multiple ways and stick to the ones that you find to be more effective, and by the time you reach your next exam, you'll be more prepared because you learned the way you learned best.

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2. Studying Solo

If you are someone who finds studying super energising and fun by studying solo, while not having any focus issues, then this advice isn't for you. However, for a lot of students, studying is a mundane and boring task that fails to keep their attention.

Just like many other things in life, a lot of things become better when they are done with friends. Hobbies, games, sports, and studying are definitely on the list too. Gather your friends and set a time together to meet in the library, cafe, or house to just study together. Exchange ideas and test each other on concepts regarding your study, and just have fun with it.

BUT! There is a huge 'but', and that is, you have to be responsible. If you are going to study with people, study with people who want to learn and who want to put in the effort. Nothing is worse than having a study buddy who is only testing your patience.

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3. Cramming for Deadlines

Probably one of the biggest mistakes students make is cramming for deadlines. Be it assignments or exams, cramming is incredibly stressful and, most importantly, isn't very conducive as a learning mechanism.

Cramming turns your educational tasks into a box you need to tick and not an opportunity to learn. It focuses on and completely takes away the point of studying for the course you are in, and you're basing your entire education on extrinsic motivation.

Whether or not you enjoy the course you're taking or the subject, and whether or not your parents are the ones who are pushing you to study said course, the way you approach your education makes an enormous difference to your own happiness and fulfilment, as well as your productivity.

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4. Not Maximizing Free Time

It is very easy to think, "Oh, now I'm in college; I am so busy and don't have time to do anything!" I get it; I have been in the same boat too until there was a change in perspective, and two things helped with that: time management and effective productivity.

When you learn simple strategies to use time effectively and having an effective productivity strategy, as well as beating your own procrastination, you will realise how much spare time you really have.

Yes, enjoy your spare time, but also use it as a way to learn new skills. Be productive beyond your education in college or university; learn skills that will aid your future career, or even apply those skills to create a new income stream. You will be extremely surprised to find out how much free time there is, if you just manage your time better.

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5. Not Prioritising Your Health

Keeping healthy is fundamental, and student life isn't always the most ideal circumstance to keep healthy. When we're rushing for class, we tend to get a quick snack, and more likely than not, the snack is on the unhealthier side. However, unhealthy foods are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to our health.

Late-night study sessions, irregular sleep patterns, and unhealthy eating habits become the norm. These are just some of the factors that affect our health as students, and it is a mistake to treat it lightly.

Take time to plan out your meals and put in a short 30-minute workout to keep your body active every day or so. Take some personal time or see someone to prioritise your mental health. Because if it doesn't affect you now, it will affect you in the future.

It's crucial to recognise that neglecting our own health can have long-term consequences, affecting academic performance and overall quality of life. I really encourage students to strike a balance between academic pursuits and self-care, as it is essential for fostering a holistic approach to success.

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