How One Class Completely Changed My Study Habits

When I had first heard that my school held afterschool UCONN ECE classes, I had laughed. Why would anyone ever want to put in that much time and effort in an afterschool class that is so hard, even the teacher admits that the majority of students do not end up getting the credits? Even so, some friends convinced me that I would be perfect to take it, so without thinking about it, I signed up to take UCONN ECE Chemistry for my junior year. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. The first class was two and a half hours long, and it was a complete lecture.

“Okay guys, that was the first chapter. Next class, we’re going to learn chapter two,” The teacher said. I left the class, my head spinning. Usually school comes pretty easy for me, and I don’t really find studying for classes time consuming, so I didn’t really worry about this class, and I focused on the rest of my course load. Instead of studying, I would go online, talk to my friends on Facebook, and text.

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I didn’t concern myself until the weekend before my first exam. I figured I would be able to go over some practice problems on Saturday, and maybe reread the chapters in the book on Sunday. However, this was not the case. The moment I began to review the material, I realized that I didn’t know any of it, and that I was going to fail the test. That weekend, I locked myself in my room, didn’t talk to anyone, didn’t go online, and didn’t sleep.

I had to teach myself the first three chapters of the course. I went into the test exhausted and nervous. I knew that I had put things off until last minute, and I was going to pay for it. As I reviewed the problems on the test, I vaguely remembered reviewing them in class. I felt incredibly stupid, and I knew that I was going to have to work on my time management if I wanted to pass this class, which now was something that I very much wanted to do. The next week, during class, I paid especially close attention, took detailed notes, and when I went home, I immediately did the practice problems.

I worked harder in class and in lab, I asked questions when I had them. I began studying on the weekends, and I found myself understanding the material much better, and actually helping explain some of the problems to my classmates. When the next exam came up, I figured I would be able to go over some practice problems on Saturday, and maybe reread the chapters in the book on Sunday. The moment I reviewed the materials, I realized that all of my extra work had paid off, and that I was in good shape for the exam. I had understood the problems, and I got them right when I tried the practice questions. I went into the test well rested and confident.

I knew that the grade that I got on this test wasn’t going to reflect how well I studied, but it would show my understanding of the material as it was. I hadn’t crammed the weekend before, and I actually knew what I was doing on the test. When I had gotten the exam back, I was very happy with the grade. Compared to the first exam, I had done extremely well, and even though I am only two months into the class, it has already taught me so much as far as time management goes. Although it was a large undertaking for me, I’m very glad I decided to take this class.

It was a wake up call for me, and now I know that I can’t just take classes, I actually have to work in them. I now have better study habits, and everyday this experience is making me a better, more committed student.