College requires study skills that many students don’t have. If you were one of the lucky folks who breezed through high school without needing to pick up a book, you may not have the skills needed to get through college.
Even if you have disciplined study habits, the expectations of college can be a surprise. There are plenty of resources that help you learn to study, but you may be interested in the things that can get in your way. Many of the lifestyle issues common for college students interfere with your ability to focus and concentrate.
There is no way to avoid all stress, but living in stressful situations day in and day out make it difficult to focus. It can feel impossible to shut out the noise in your brain and focus once you sit down in front of your books or computer.
The effect stress has on your ability to study makes maintaining your grades more challenging, which adds more stress and creates a cycle that is difficult to break. You can’t remove all stress from your life, but you can reduce it. If finances are a concern, consider taking out student loans through a private lender. Private student loans provide the funds you need for tuition as well as living expenses.
Practicing meditation can provide some relief. There are a variety of apps that guide you through the meditation process. Just 10 minutes of meditation a day is enough to reduce stress levels. If you are feeling particularly overwhelmed, visit your school’s health clinic. Most of these facilities offer mental health resources for free or at a low cost for students.
Lack of Exercise
You may think that exercise is the last thing you need if you are having trouble studying. More time spent in front of your books isn’t always the answer. Exercise helps your focus immediately, and a regular exercise program rewires the brain, strengthening the connections that make it easier to concentrate.
To amplify the benefits, exercise outside. Spending time outside each day boosts your mood, improves sleep, and reduces stress.
Poor Sleep Quality
Pulling an all-nighter is a rite of passage for most college students. You may find it unavoidable on occasion, but don’t make it a habit. Lack of sleep makes it much more difficult to concentrate. While you may pass the test you crammed for, you probably won’t do as well or retain as much information as you would have by spreading your study sessions out.
If you are not getting enough sleep for other reasons, such as spending time with friends, you can expect it to affect your ability to focus. No one expects you to miss out on the college experience, but you should manage your time and energy.
Schedule going out with friends as part of your routine. By including leisure time in your schedule, you will be less likely to go out spontaneously. When you do go out, you can relax and enjoy yourself, because you know you’ve taken care of your coursework.
When you don’t have a regular schedule for studying, it may seem like that is all that you do. In reality, you are spending most of your time scrolling through your phone, chatting with friends, and looking for snacks. Dedicating uninterrupted blocks of time to your schoolwork keeps you prepared in class and allows you to enjoy your free time.