Yes, this is what it looks like when old people study. It isn’t pretty.
We still like taking notes the old-school way, with pen and notebook. In this case, penS and notebookS. Because I have to keep a journal as part of my homework, and also I like to take notes when I read. I’d say that it’s the only way I can remember things, now that I am old, but I always liked to take notes on my reading. Oh, and we still highlight our textbooks, we seniors. Although I must say I highlight less of the text than I did when I was 18. So maybe I’ve grown.
I know you’re wondering why there’s a portable CD player on the table. One of our books includes a CD of relaxation and regression exercises. There is no link. So I had to go buy a portable CD player. Do you know how hard they are to find? My nearby Target was out of stock so I had to go to another, further away Target. Do you know how much we old people hate having to drive around in traffic?
Yes, that is the APA style manual. American Psychological Association. Our papers must adhere to this stylebook. Of course, it’s not quite like the AP (minus one A) style manual that I learned to use in journalism class and used during my whole career. That AP stands for Associated Press. So this new style manual reflects a big change for me.
Oh wait. Let me share my study tips in a list. I’m sure you’ll find them (if not riveting,) helpful.
1. Don’t try to take notes on your phone.
I mean it. It’s just too small. It’s perfectly ok to buy an old-school notebook and use a pen. Honest. There’s something about the act of writing it down with a pen that helps with retention. I think.
2. Turn off other media and walk away from your laptop.
Multi-tasking is a young person’s game. Focus is our game now. Gone are the days when we can listen to music or watch TV and study at the same time. Focus on the task at hand, which is studying. Also, do not have a glass of wine with your studies. Or other substance. No.
Oh, you don’t have to highlight every word, like we did the first go-around in college. But highlight the…highlights. And then highlight in your notebook. Yes, that’s what I do.
4. Read. And reread.
These days I have to read, highlight, take notes. Then reread. And read again. Hey, I’ve got a lot of stuff in my head at my age and there’s not a lot of room for more. Repetition is the name of the game when it comes to learning. And retaining information.
I’ve developed a bad habit in this world overloaded with information, and that is only scanning the surface when I read. Because we can’t possibly save to our brains every single piece of info that comes our way.
But that surface glance? That just doesn’t work with learning. I really have to take the time to read and then reflect on what I’ve read or it doesn’t sink in.
BONUS STUDY TIP:
Proof your work carefully!
First, there are the errors we just don’t see because we know what we wanted to say, and THAT’S what we see. That’s the hardest kind of typo to find. I have learned the hard way to print my papers out and read them, hard copy. Amazing what I find.
Then there’s the famous auto-correct error. I can’t believe I turned in a paper that referred to the energetic CHANGE of experience instead of CHAIN of experience. I had to send a quick note days later to my prof, because I found it days later, to be sure he knew I knew the correct terminology. Because I sounded like an idiot. Once burned, lesson learned.
So, those are my study tips for now. I’m sure I’ll have more down the road. What would you add?