College is not like high school when it comes to homework - you will write more papers, be assigned more reading and take more exams than ever before. Below are some tips to help reduce the stress and help you manage the workload.
Homework tip #1: Have a quiet place to study
Set up a comfortable quiet place in your room. If you are in a dorm and have a roommate, try laying out some ground rules for each other to follow when each of you are studying. Just make sure the space you set up:
- Is away from noise and distraction
- has comfortable seating
- has good lighting
- offers enough room to spread out
If you can’t designate a permanent place to study, make sure all your study materials are organized and mobile so that if you are being distracted you can move to a place that has no interruptions.
Homework tip #2: Have all the materials you need handy
Make sure that when it is time to study that you have everything you need within reach. Concentration and time are lost if you need to constantly get up and look for something, so be prepared with:
- writing implements
- notes you took in class
- your laptop
Organize all of your assignments for each class in separate folders. This will help in keeping all the important papers together and aid in making sure they do not get mixed up or lost. This will also make better use of your time, so you are not spending more time searching for certain papers than studying.
Homework tip #3: Manage your time wisely
Pay attention during class. Actively participate and ask questions if you do not understand something. The more you absorb in class, the better your chances are for understanding homework. Daydreaming or drifting off in class only leads to you spending extra study time trying to understand the assignment.
Have a set time for completing homework each day before you do anything else. Putting homework first on your priority list helps you to focus on what’s important.
Clear your schedule to make time for your studies. Try not to reschedule your study time for something else or to accommodate others. You want full concentration given to your class studies and not to thinking about other things you could be doing.
Another important factor in ensuring homework success is reviewing your school workload every single day. The following steps will help you stay organized:
Rule 1: Set up a 2-sided pocket portfolio for each class with a different color for each subject. The left side is for new assignments; the right side is for completed homework that needs to be handed in.
Step 2: Keep one planner or calendar to help in prioritizing class studies and ensuring you do not miss any due dates or exams.
Step 3: Double check before you head to class that you have all the appropriate folders and everything you need in them.
Homework tip #4: Color coding is key
It can be hard to keep all the materials for one class together, so the trick is to color code. Choose a different color for each class – for example math is blue, history is orange, and biology is green. For math class you would have:
- a blue pocket portfolio
- a blue textbook cover
- a small blue poly envelope for any class-specific school supplies
- a blue expanding wallet for larger materials
Following these homework tips will make your time at college productive, giving you more time to take in the whole college experience.