Here are a sample of some simple student tips that I use with the students I mentor, to help them focus and get the best from themselves.
- Learn how to take notes, quickly in your own way. Do this by watching a quick YouTube discussion on the subjects you are studying or find an online presentation and write some notes, give yourself a few symbols that mean certain things, for example.
Maslow ^ Needs 1943 -0-0-
This quick note actually means. Abraham Maslow, ‘Hierarchy of Needs’ from the paper “A Theory of Human Motivation”, written in the Psychological Review in 1943. My symbols are of a ‘-0-0-‘ pair of glasses which means ‘google this’ and the ‘^’ is a visual representation of the pyramid in which the ‘Hierarchy of Needs’ is presented.
This note taking condensed one slide of information down into, two words, two symbols and one year. This information is more than enough to take home and google. Drawing an entire pyramid and all of the information within it, as well as what the tutor says is unnecessary as ‘notes’, and takes you away from listening to what they have to say, which if you trust yourself, you may just remember. Believe me.
- Colour code your tutors or subjects, give them blue, pink, or green folders, and highlight every hand out they give you with that certain shaded marker at the top corner. When you have printed off some information which covers three of your subjects, highlight certain sentences in different shades, as one could be paraphrased in your pink assignment, another in your blue presentation, and maybe even again a direct quote can be taken for your green essay. Make life easier, on days you only have two subjects only take the coloured folders you need instead of carting around the heaviest bag in the world.
- Getting a grasp of some Mnemonic Learning Skills. The Loci Method, is pretty simple and almost fool proof. The idea is you walk around your house, leaving ‘things’ in certain places so that you can easily ‘find’ them again later on. If you were going shopping and needed to remember baked beans, pasta, and orange juice, you will imagine a tin of baked beans on your sofa/settee, a bag of pasta in your kitchen sink and some orange juice on your windowsill, then off you go shopping. To recall the items you simply walk around your house mentally to find what you have to buy.
To use this approach as a student, I will apply the theory of human development in children in a Loci Learning way;
I walk into my house and at the doorway I will be greeted by Erick Erickson as he believed that social interaction had a massive impact upon our human development. Then as we go into the kitchen we would see Vygotsky cooking an ethnically influenced meal in a cooking show format, because he believed that our cultural social conditioning was of major importance to our personal development and that we need a teacher/student zone to develop. As we walk up the stairs we see Piaget happily sitting on them, he is on the stairs because he believes learning and development are continual throughout our lifespan and we can teach ourselves almost anything. We could then go into the bathroom and see Freud on the toilet, his idea that our subconscious mind only harbours a cesspit of unnatural sexual desires is a load of …
Regardless of my views the theory is yours for the taking and you can learn so many things with this simple method of putting people, their theories or even frameworks or elements for reactions in places within your home to easily recall later on.
- Listen to a lecture whilst you have music playing, believe it or not, if you put the lecture on low and play music over it, you will still absorb the information of the lecture on a subconscious level, this will help you gain familiarity with your subjects so when you get into your reading list it will not seem as alien or hard to do.
- If you keep in your head ‘I will do it later’ it will always be a stress, so give yourself dedicated times in which you will work, and make sure you do it. Then put your books away until your next dedicated time. Plan what you will be working on in each time zone and keep focused on that one chunk, one at a time.
Learning can be fun, it can be addictive and it can feel good. I could not imagine my life without a little (or Lot) of learning in it. So be brave, be the nerd, be the one who reads all of the books, be the one who meditates before a presentation, be the one who listens to binaural beats before bedtime. Learning can be awesome, if you just let go of all perceptions of what learning is and what you are in accordance to that viewpoint.
Just let it in…after all you became a student for a reason.
If you are interested in becoming a student on my books just contact me for more information, whether you live near or far we can work together to meet your ongoing student needs; Get organised, structure your assignments and prepare your presentations ideas with ease.