New semester, study well!

Healthy study habits are the key to academic success

“The academics at Bucknell are rigorous,” warns Catherine O’Neil, M.D., physician at Bucknell Student Health. “But if you’re here, that means you were an excellent student in high school. Keep up your healthy study habits and you will be fine.”

Attendance matters

According to Dr. O’Neil, one of the big ways college students get themselves into trouble is by not showing up for class.  “Suddenly, you find yourself with more personal freedom than ever before,” she says. “Plus, there’s so much to do on campus, it’s tempting to let attendance slide. Unfortunately, that can set you up for failure.”

Professors tend to test more heavily on what they cover in class. Also, if they’ve seen you in class there’s a good chance they’ll be more understanding if you need help or have questions on the material later.

Take good notes

“Taking good notes is extremely important,” advises Dr. O’Neil.  “Courses at Bucknell will probably be more challenging and complex than any you’ve ever experienced. Do yourself a favor and write everything down.”

Schedule time to study

With so much to do here it’s important to set aside time for reading and other assignments. Scheduling is a good first step, but it’s also a good idea to set goals for each session. Don’t put it all off until the end.

Cramming is a recipe for disaster

Pulling an all-nighter before an important test means you will definitely not be your best when you really need to focus.  This is also when too many students turn to stimulants ranging from caffeine to prescription medications to help get them through. This, warns Dr. O’Neil, is not a good idea. “Your best bet is to prepare yourself for the test beforehand, which includes getting a good night’s sleep,” she says. “And if you find you’re falling behind, reach out to your professor, talk to your academic advisor, or hire a tutor. There are resources here at your disposal.”

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