The bell rings, the professor walks in, and you realize that you are now back into an arena of intellectual battle of which there is no escape. Many different people, whether through the Internet, news, or the classroom, will try to persuade you to believe what they would like you to think is the truth. Let’s be honest; the only way to believe something is to understand it. We come to understand “it” by independent studying outside of the classroom.
But then again, do we really know how to study?
I started to find that I had an almost impossible time getting anything done in my room. I would go there to work out a paper, and then find that I’m on Facebook several hours later with minimal work accomplished. Studying has been steadily decreasing since the 60s, when an average was about 24 hours of studying a week! Just how many hours would you say the average college student studies now?
Answer: Not even half that.
We are more socially adept in culture as a whole with the inventions of Facebook and other social networking sites that our time is being divided up more and more each year. Students find time for leisure, sports and dating, and studying keeps getting pushed off to the side.
Allie Grasgreen of Formerly Outside The Classroom states:
“. . . there are negative consequences, too: increased substance use, decreased academic engagement, and decreased professional preparedness. ([Todd] Wyatt recalled his students in a developmental psychology class, who included text jargon and emoticons in their reflection papers.) ‘One of the main reasons why students aren’t spending as much time studying is they don’t know how to study,’ Wyatt said. ‘They don’t know how to study efficiently.’”
If that wasn’t a wake up call to you, then maybe something else will do. Out of 34 countries, the U.S. Ranked 14th in reading, 17th in science, and 25th in math according to scores from the 2009 Programme for International Student Assessment. We are behind such countries as South Korea, Finland, Singapore and China. For being citizens of one of the largest super powers in the world, we as students need to step up and study like we are. Many of these countries have much stricter policies concerning school and studies, but that is no excuse for us when we have the freedom to study whatever we choose.
As I said before, I found it near impossible for me to study cooped up in my room for hours on end; I found a new place to study. I now enjoy studying in places where there is a steady flow of people, whether it be a student center, or the main area in my living complex. I feel like people are watching me work, so of course I want to impress them. I call it the “working spotlight” effect.
So as you go into the new semester, make sure it counts. If you are having trouble studying in one place, try a new one! It just might make all the difference.