Tips on doing readings in college?


#1

I can’t bring myself to stay focused or not fall asleep. Any tips to help me get more out of readings?


#2

If you’re doing reading, set aside at least 45 minutes to an hour, but don’t try to push yourself to read more than 3 hours or so. Every 30 minutes or so, get up and give your mind and eyes a break. Finally, get into the habit of jotting down small notes of summaries / ideas you have while reading in the pages or in a notebook. This will definitely come in handy when studying or trying to write a final paper.


#3

People often asked me how I managed to do my readings alongside everything else going on at uni and work. I found that instead of scheduling classes and tutorials back to back, give yourself two or three hours between each one. Perhaps it means taking a later or earlier class at uni, but ultimately you’re going to be more alive during the day when you’ve got time to do readings - because I agree reading chapters at 11 and 12 o’clock at night is not the dream.

My days at uni would sometimes be an 8-9am tutorial, 1-3pm lecture and 5-6pm tutorial. So there’s a 4 hour block and a 2 hour block, and I might do a reading (with summary notes, so handy always!!!) for an hour, then work on an assignment for a couple, then take a walk for lunch. Then, off to class. After class, another reading and notes refresher for the tutorial. It’s like being in school - no one could sit in class and learn physics for 6 hours straight, but your brain can handle and absorb small amounts of physics, maths, geography, art, and classics in a day and not feel too fatigued.

I did this to myself because I used to load myself up back to back, and be so tired when I got home I’d usually take a nap, and then feel so lethargic for the rest of the day that I’d never have the energy and brain power to focus on readings. So I found I never got much done!!

I didn’t have a huge workload (probably 15 hours of contact time a week), so I understand it’s harder for students who take courses with labs. My university also allowed me to select my tutorial times which some unis don’t - but you can always ask your faculty for a swap if this is the case.