Anyone have any studying/note taking/listening tips for school (higher education)? I am feeling completely unmotivated right now and some of the information my teachers are talking about just isn't processing in my head whatsoever (in one ear, out the other). That, on top of just not seeming to care about my grades anymore, is really discouraging to me, I feel extremely tired/lazy all of the time. I do also work about 20 hours a week while in school, but that is mostly on the weekends so it doesn't really get in the way of school work. 

I will admit I did not apply myself while in high school that well, but honestly who did? It wasn't necessary to get good grades. But when I was younger I used to get upset by making any "B" on any kind of assignment. Now, I can fail quizzes in class and just not give two sh!ts. I half ass my homework a lot of the time, and don't ever study. While I am enjoying the material in a couple of my classes, I am just not feeling it anymore. Granted that the last year of high school was not very challenging for me because I took all of my difficult classes freshman-junior year, and the community college I attended barely even got my feet wet (Once again, it was not necessary to really study to get good grades). 

I am not placing the blame on anybody else, I realize it was partially my fault for not really applying myself 100% earlier on when I should have. But then again, the education in my area is a little sub-par. 

What I am asking from you guys, is what worked for you in school? How did you spend your time outside of class studying? And is there a way to get better at a subject that you have honestly ZERO interest in (my calculus class, I took the first part of this class a long time ago, and this semester I was forced into the second part).

Thank you for your time as always.


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Sounds like depression to me.  Address that?

Find the delight in thesubject.  There is always something.

There zare academic coaches at the collefe that wd be delightex to help you.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and have no medical training.

In my experience depression is almost always a symptom of something else.  The only problem that I have with diagnosing someone as being depressed is that doctors want to throw medicine at the symptom without treating the cause.

I'm not a doctor and don't have psychological or psychiatric training, but I do read quite a bit about this stuff.

I'm not sure what you mean by "the cause." 

A lot of the non-pharmaceutical things that help depression have the same chemical effects as the pharmaceutical treatments - things like getting more sleep or exercise or sunlight.  Those lifestyle changes may not be available to everyone, and pharmaceutical treatment may be helpful in getting patients over the hump to make the lifestyle changes.

Is there anything that doesnt sound like a depression to you? I see replys like this quite often from you.

Actually, you don't.  If you count up recent threads I've replied to, you can verify this for yourself.

Thanks for the advice. The biggest problem I seem to be having is the feeling that I am just exhausted and that later turns into me not being able to focus in class and grasp the concepts that the teacher is lecturing about. 

Sounds like you're not getting enough relaxation time.  Ya gotta recharge the batteries once in a while.  Get good sleep (8 hours minimum), cut down on the alcohol (a few drinks won't hurt), go to parties (on the weekend when you can get a decent amount of sleep), go to the gym, do strenuous something (hiking, biking, etc.), go out with your girlfriend; basically relax!

Take classes that have nothing to do with your major, take PE classes (I took raquet ball), take art classes, take anthropology classes, etc....

I’m an analytic by nature.

First look at your target & reason for school.

Look up the jobs you can get with your major on

The low end / starting pay is what a 3.0 will get you, the average is what a 3.5 will get you. 

Take that income and do the following rough calculation. 

After taxes = Salary * .75

Hourly rate = After taxes / 2000 = After Taxes / (50 weeks a year * 40 Hours a week)

That is your hourly rate. That is your goal.  This is a rough estimate not reality but it is a carrot.  It will also help you decide if it is better to get loans and study harder or that it will not pay off in the future.

Next you need to get British about school.  They have a lovely cultural norm of hitting campus by 8 or 9 and not leaving foot till 5 or 6.  They put their 8 hours a day in every week day.  At the end they get a drink blow steam and then back at it in the evening.  Make this your habit.  It will get you used to the working world and set you in good stead to get your studies done.

Hit the gym at school every morning or every evening just before studying.  It will reset and focus you for the next task.  20 min on a tread mill just walking is all you need.

Always sit in the front row.  Turn your cell phone off and lay it face down on the table next to you. 

Figure out how you learn.  I learned I have to hand-write everything or it does not load.  I can type notes faster but they don’t help me learn.

The person providing the class instruction is not your teacher; you are now your teacher. They are there to instruct you on the subject and to highlight what is critical to know.

Dress like you care, even if you don’t.

That section of the lecture you tuned out on, that’s in your book.  Read it, take notes on it, and then go see your teacher.  It is okay to say “hay I zoned out and read x section in the book but I’m not sure about XXXXX”.  That is entirely different from “I zoned out please re do the lecture for me”.  The first shows you care and are trying, the second says you think the instructor / professor is your slave.

Note taking.  Personally I use engineering graph paper and the first 2 inches of the left side of the page is not used.  I take notes on the remaining right side.  As I hit question or review and need further detail I put the question on the left side and get the answers from the professor or book.

Work with people in study groups if it works for you.  It is very effective when you have to help teach what you just learned.

Do not take loans to cover fun, do take loans to cover food, rent & books.

Find out what classes are the “weeder classes” for your major.  Make sure you have “easy/fun/simple” general education classes that term. 

Math is poorly taught because it is not taught though applications.  I ended up critically needing a section of calculus we covered for a week in high speed digital design a year later.  As tempting as classes are to learn and forget.  DO NOT DO THIS WITH YOUR SCIENCE, MATH & ENGINERRING classes.

Plan out all your classes until you get your degree so you know the path you have to walk to get there. 

If you are burning out take the summer to travel.

That’s about it off the top of my head.

Seems like you have no real direction, so all the work you're doing now seems pointless.  It's easy to be apathetic when you can't see where you're heading and how what you're doing now moves you along that path.

I'd recommend taking stock on what you're doing now, and work on figuring out your long-term career goals.  If you can determine what you'd like to do in the future, it will make your classes now feel more relevant/necessary.  

Personally, knowing that I'm heading into a PhD program makes me bust my ass in my classes and put in the extra effort to do well.  I know my work is preparing me for that next step.  It's really all about perspective. Hope that helps!

I intend on getting some post bachelors education, the main problem I haven now is deciding between the Medfield(nursing----PA----cRNA) or the computer/business field (MIS, Comp Sci) But you were spot on. I feel like some of the classes just don't matter. I just sort of zone out in class.  

Do NOT take MIS, it is a worthless degree.  If you are intending to go into IT then take Computer Science classes.  It is far far easier for a business to train a CS major to manage than it is to teach a Management major to do IT.

If you're zoning out in class and the class is required for your major then you need to re-address why it is that you want to be in that major or if that major is for you.

As with any degree you may want to look at the schools career fair listings for the last 3 years.  It will tell you what companies you the best shot of getting a job from.


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