I am so grateful to have had such a successful first year in nursing school. The first year is certainly not the hardest, but then again, no part of nursing school is “easy.” Seeing some of the people around me struggling motivated me to work that much harder to stay on top of my studies and work to lay a solid foundation for the rest of my years in nursing school. It also made me want to give back to future students so they can experience the same success I had. I am super excited to have the opportunity to be an undergraduate teaching assistant for CHEM 0910 this semester, but in addition to that, I wanted to share some tips for how to approach classes/how to study that I live by. Below, I have listed some tips I used in most (if not all) of my classes to keep my “A-game” on point…
- Put one foot in front of the other. This is one of the most basic things, but it can save you a whole lot of stress later if you take it to heart. When you learn something in class, immediately review it after. Take time to digest what you have just learned because most concepts will end up building on each other. In conjunction with this, if you don’t understand something in lecture, it’s time to crack open the books when you leave class. Don’t just read your notes from class, understand
- NOT in one ear and out the other. Actively listen when you are in class. For many of my classes, the professors post some sort of notes or powerpoints online so for class I used the notes section on the powerpoint on my computer to type in additional notes. I noted things the professor hinted would be on the exam, explanations, mnemonics, and any other little bits not in the notes that were mentioned.
- Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. I say it three times because this is probably the most effective ways to memorize a concept. You can rewrite right after class when everything is fresh and you are reviewing the material gone over that day, or you can do it later on when you have more time. Either way, the act of rewriting your notes will help the concepts to settle into your memory. For this, I have the powerpoint open on my computer with the notes section visible and I condensed each slide into bullets to include in my notes.
- Color me brilliant. Color coding is super helpful when rewriting your notes because it makes it more appeasing to the eye, and will help you stay organized. This organization will help you when you are studying and you are down to a few concepts which you don’t have completely down; you will be able to easily find information on a given topic for review.
- Flashing frenzy. Do yourself a favor and buy flashcards in bulk. After you’ve recopied your notes, go through and make flashcards of key topics, vocabulary, important processes, etc. To save on flashcards, you can always cut the cards in half so you have more bang for your buck (just be sure you have enough space on the back for those heftier topics).