There’s no doubt about it: balancing a full class load, a job, perhaps taking online classes for the first time and juggling all of your other responsibilities is a lot to handle for anyoneThat’s where the Department of Academic Advisement & Student Development at Millersville University comes in: their whole purpose is to help you set strategies to realize your academic goals and complete your degree on time.  

We asked our academic advisors to share some of their best tips to help you stay on track this semester – here’s what they had to say:  

1. AVOID CRAMMING

There really is such a thing as information overload. Your brain cannot effectively process too much information, too fast – it needs time to manipulate the information before it stores it. Remember, you cannot retrieve something from memory if it was never effectively stored there! Dr. Cora Dzubak

2. PRACTICE ACTIVE STUDYING

Multisensory study means that you are seeing the information, saying it out loud, while hearing the information, and “using it” when you write it down, or summarize it, or draw a diagram, etc. Passive reading or study is rarely effective when used alone. It does not effectively engage your brain. – Dr. Cora Dzubak

3. TEACH WHAT YOU’RE LEARNING

Teach others as part of your active learning strategies. If you cannot teach it, you do not know it. – Dr. David Henriques

4. DON’T MULTITASK

We learn best when we focus. Multitasking interferes with focus and therefore interferes with your learning. Here’s why: the brain cannot process two sources of incoming language-based information, such as trying to listen to a lecture while also texting. You might believe that you can, but try texting while having a conversation, or when listening to directions. You cannot effectively do both. So put the phone away, focus on your work, and then go back to the phone when you take a break. – Dr. Cora Dzubak

5. VISUALIZE

As you study, close your eyes and visualize what you are learning. It can be a word, or a formula, or an idea. Think about it: any thought can be put into a picture or an image, and your brain generally processes images very effectively. Try it! – Dr. Cora Dzubak

6. GET ENOUGH SLEEP

Adults under the age of 21 should still get at least 8 hours of sleep each night. Keeping a regular sleep cycle is also important. Since sleep facilitates learning and memory, getting a good night sleep not only helps your body recover but it also helps you learn better. Now that’s a win-win. – Dr. David Henriques

7. TURN OFF DEVICES

Turn off or silence your devices at least 30 minutes before going to bed. This allows your mind to relax and your body to unwind so that you have more restful sleep. – Dr. David Henriques

8. USE YOUR LEARNING STYLE TO YOUR ADVANTAGE

Develop strategies for overcoming learning differences when instructors employ unfamiliar teaching methods. – Dr. Margaret Mbindyo

9. USE A PLANNER TO STAY ORGANIZED

Having a planner, whether digital or analog, can be a lifesaver in college. Here, you should write down assignments that you have, deadlines and test dates. – Dr. Margaret Mbindyo

10. ASK QUESTIONS

If you are having trouble with a course or want to make sure you are studying the right concepts, make a list of questions to ask your professor during the lecture or later. Your professors are here to teach you, but they can’t help you if you don’t ask for it. – Dr. Margaret Mbindyo

Need more help? Check out all our academic resources MU offers to students – like success coaching, learning services and more.

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