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Davis, California

Monday, April 22, 2024

Advice from students, for students to boost academic performance

Sticky notes, public study spots and more among top tips from students

UC Davis students may easily identify with the constant struggle of having too much work but too little time as they navigate the jumble of the fast-paced quarter system. The start of the new school year, however, offers students the opportunity to learn from past mistakes and try out new study habits. 

A few top-notch UC Davis students shared their top tips with The Aggie on how to stay afloat, juggle a busy schedule and study efficiently. 

A good night’s sleep: 

Hailey Peterson, a second-year psychology major, recalls sleepless nights as a freshman in the dorms, which resulted in compromised school performance. She commented on the importance of a good night’s sleep.

“I thought I needed to do everything, so I stayed up super late and then I was always tired,” Peterson said. “That’s not a good idea if you’re trying to do well in your classes. Sleep is really important.”

Avoid procrastination: 

Fourth-year political science major Sophia Aldecoa touched on a universally-relatable subject matter.

“Literally, don’t wait until the last minute!” Aldecoa said. “All of my classes [had] one 10 to 12 page paper that I always [did] the night before, but I’m trying my last year not to do that. Don’t procrastinate — you think you can do it, but you can’t.”

Aldecoa added that while it is possible to finish a large paper or project the night before it’s due, the stress of procrastination will inevitably affect one’s mental health.

With only 10 weeks in a quarter, students will often be ambushed with midterms in week two or three. This requires staying on top of tasks and, if possible, finishing coursework ahead of time. Anticipating future assignments is a helpful way to keep stress levels low. 

Mona Karimi, a fourth-year English and psychology double major, shared her favorite tip for fighting procrastination.

“What helps me is to write down the due date for papers and midterms a day early so I psych myself out and then I actually have an extra day to study,” Karimi said.

Pick study spots wisely:

One benefit of attending a large university is the plethora of available study locations. Miles Ducatillon, a third-year human development major, said choosing a private location to study might not be in a student’s best interest. 

He said that working on his homework or studying in a public area helps him keep his focus and stay on task. 

“I sit myself in a situation where other people can see my screen so I can’t watch minecraft playthroughs or people will literally judge the hell out of me,” Ducatillon said. “I literally cannot, I have to do my homework.” 

Make lists: 

Staying organized is key for academic success — not only because it boosts mental health, but also because it prevents missed deadlines. 

One way to stay organized is to buy a planner or post-it notes. Using a pen and paper is both a reliable and a scientifically-backed method used to recall important information. 

Briana Amann, a fourth-year political science major, shared that whenever she feels stress coming on, she makes a to-do list and places sticky notes around her room and on her computer. 

“To me, it’s honestly therapeutic to write [a] single task I need to do down on a piece of paper or in my planner,” Amann said. “It kind of minimizes the problem and makes everything seem much more manageable. I also use sticky notes and put them basically everywhere to make sure I’m aware of everything going on.” 

For more tips on maximizing academic performance this year, check out the Student Health and Counseling Service Center’s advice at https://shcs.ucdavis.edu/topics/study-skills

Written by: Isabella Beristain — features@theaggie.org


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