How to Beat Bad Study Habits in College

Balancing socialization and school can make you successful in college.
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No matter what you saw in "Animal House" and "Old School," going to college is about more than just partying it up. The ultimate goal is to earn a degree, and you can only do that by hitting the books and staying on top of your studies. Through time management, good organization skills and self control, you can avoid falling victim to bad study habits.

1 Study the Art of Studying

If you come out of high school feeling like you didn't learn to study effectively, take a class on good study skills. Offered by most universities, academic success courses focus on concepts like taking good notes, test-taking skills, budgeting time and critical thinking. You'll also learn the general expectations of college students and how to set goals for both your classes and the future. Enrolling in one of these classes your fall semester can help you get off on the right foot.

2 Make the Most of Your Time

As a college student, time is your most valuable commodity. Rather than carving out hours in the evenings for studying, take advantage of small blocks of time throughout the day. For example, if you have an hour between classes, go to the student union and study the subject you just came from instead of going back to your dorm. To beat procrastination, make a schedule and begin each task immediately rather than wasting valuable time thinking about everything you need to do. This will decrease your stress by keeping you from waiting until the last minute to do assignments.

3 Ditch the Distractions

Facebook, TV, joking with your roommate and listening to music aren't bad things, but when you mix them with attempts at studying, the result can be devastating to your grade. Even tasks around your dorm room that need to get done, like laundry or doing dishes, can keep you from schoolwork. Minimize these distractions by working in a quiet, isolated place, such as a study room at the library. If you can't stop checking your news feed, websites like can block your computer from opening Facebook while you're trying to work.

4 Treat Yourself

After acing a test, getting a good grade on a paper or just managing to stay focused during a long studying session, don't forget to reward yourself. Watch a favorite movie, meet up with friends for coffee, surf the Internet or read a few chapters of a new book. To keep focused during studying, master the art of taking breaks. Get water or snacks, but limit your break time to small intervals like 15 minutes and know when it's time to get back to work.

Kori Morgan holds a Bachelor of Arts in professional writing and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and has been crafting online and print educational materials since 2006. She taught creative writing and composition at West Virginia University and the University of Akron and her fiction, poetry and essays have appeared in numerous literary journals.