Photos by Phyllis Yu
There are only 24 hours in a day, and as a college student, it can be difficult to squeeze studying into these precious hours when there are so many other activities to participate in.
There are many different activities and extracurriculars like Greek life and clubs that provide opportunities for students to serve their community, socialize and immerse themselves in different cultures.
On top of that, there are performance opportunities for students to showcase their talents and school athletic teams that keep students on a tightly packed schedule.
As students deeply integrate themselves into the various extra-curricular activities that Pepperdine offers, finding the right method for studying and managing time is crucial for success.
Junior Kevin Park reading in Stauffer Chapel
Effectiveness of Time Management
Using time wisely is the key to success amidst a hectic schedule. This, however, is a difficult task due to the many distractions present, making it necessary for students to keep themselves accountable.
The first step is to look for different methods that will help boost effective time allocation, according to Forbes. Time allocation is the prep work for an effective study session. If a student figures out what and how long they are going to study for ahead of time, studying will become more goal-oriented.
Junior Karly Kern is a double major in both Biology and Hispanic studies, a freshman RA, a tutor for the Student Success Center, an organic chemistry TA and a part of Greek life.
To manage her time, Kern said she uses the Pomodoro Technique, which is a cycle that consists of 25 minutes of focus work followed by a five-minute break; it is repeated four times and ends with a 15-minute break. With a set time schedule, students will be motivated to finish the work at hand more efficiently. Without a plan, it is hard to pinpoint what has to be done.
Senior Robbie Skead, a student-athlete and International Business major, has a busy schedule that consists of basketball, his duties as the senior class president and his Greek-life related activities.
“Because I have so many commitments, I have to take advantage of all my free time to study, and even if I am up to speed, I have to use my free time to study to get ahead because in the future I’m bound to get behind,” Skead said.
Skead said it is important to stay on top of things, and a method that works for him is to review the professor’s lecture immediately after the class.
To improve time management skills, according to an article on Lifehack, students can keep a planner, utilize the reminder app and make a to-do list every day to keep themselves accountable for all of the work they need to get done. An organized schedule not only promotes a more productive lifestyle but also prevents students from forgetting important tasks.
Junior Madison Menefee studying at Payson Library
Power of Handwriting
In a technologically enhanced era, taking notes on the computer has become the norm. However, handwriting notes and materials is a more effective way of retaining the information that is learned, according to an article by NPR.
Technology has made it easier for students to study on the go, but many students find it helpful to write things out physically before utilizing the computer.
“I tend to handwrite the vocabulary once, and then use Quizlet until I get 100% on their flashcard tests,” junior Accounting major Christopher Hidalgo said.
Quizlet is an interactive, online study application that allows students to make and study flashcards.
Writing is also a way to reorganize an individual’s thought process.
“I rewrite my notes in an organized fashion, make Quizlets and, depending on the class, redo homework questions and exams, especially for physics,” Kern said.
Junior Hispanic Studies and International Studies major Kurt Goldie said he rereads the textbook and rewrites his notes while also anticipating what is going to be on the exam.
The action of rewriting one’s notes is equivalent to reviewing the materials that have been taught in class.
In fact, writing plays a crucial role in memorizing vocabulary, which is one of the building blocks of learning a new language, according to the University of North Carolina’s learning center.
For students who need to write on whiteboards, whether it’s for studying a foreign language, working out a math problem or figuring out a chemistry equation, the study rooms in Payson Library are available for students to book.
“I utilize the whiteboards in the study rooms as a way to familiarize myself with the different conjugations found in the Spanish language,” Goldie said.
Necessity of Self-Care
It is important to understand the severity of overstudying to maximize the productivity of a student’s study session.
“I realized the importance of taking breaks and hanging out with friends and eating outside of the library; I learned that self-care matters,” Kern said.
Many times, students get so caught up in their overwhelming schedule that they become numb to stress and forget to take care of themselves. This can then negatively affect their health, according to online publication Fresh U, so it is important to establish a balance between studying and relaxing.
Everyone has different outlets of relaxing. It may be watching an episode of a show on Netflix, going to the beach, eating out with friends, reading a book or just having good conversations with people.
For example, Goldie said he finds rest through his extra-curricular activities.
“It provides a healthy balance because it forces you to go out and mingle with people instead of just studying,” Goldie said.
Studying should be one of the top priorities for students, but understanding how to de-stress is what will help an individual succeed in the long run. It is beneficial to realize that the body needs rest because only with a healthy body and mind can individuals be the best version of themselves.
Potential of Creativity
Everyone has a different approach to the abstract art of studying, so it’s important for each person to find a way that will make it enjoyable. Think outside the box and find the technique or tool that can be helpful for a good study session.
For instance, freshman Theater major Josh Fredenburg, who is already immersed in a busy schedule involving “Ragtime,” the musical coming next month, and “Gianni Schicchi,” the Pepperdine produced opera coming next semester, said he makes studying enjoyable.
“Studying something you enjoy and can relate to really helps,” Fredenburg said. “For example, crash courses are a fun way to understand difficult concepts, and watching the ‘Illiad’ is more fun than reading it, even though movies are at times very different from the books.”
CrashCourse is a YouTube channel that consists of short but informationally packed videos. These videos are helpful because they explain difficult concepts with fun animations, making it easier for students to understand.
Kern said she recommends an app called Tide, which she started using this year to prevent her phone from becoming a distraction.
Tide promotes efficiency by helping people stay on task. Its main function is aimed toward boosting the quality of sleep, focus, relaxation and meditation.
Junior Zion Chang, junior Austin Imm and junior Allyson Kim studying outside Stauffer Chapel
Change of Mindset
Instead of seeing studying as a tedious task, perhaps a change in mindset will catalyze a change in the productivity of a study session.
Many times, tests and exams are the initiatives behind a study session, but why not study for the sake of learning? A personalized goal or motto will transform one’s view of studying, according to the website Mindset Scholars Network.
Goldie said he finds motivation in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, which states, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Often times, students forget that attending college is a blessing and luxury that many individuals do not have access to. Students come to college knowing that studying will be a part of their daily lives. However, the stress of getting a perfect GPA can lead to the dread of studying.
In order to balance extracurricular activities and other commitments with studying, students should figure out a personalized routine that will help them succeed in school and in life. While there are many different ways of doing this, students should keep in mind that the effort they put into studying will pay off in the long run; actually learning the material is more important than acing the test.
Email Phyllis Yu: firstname.lastname@example.org