Have you ever been to a subject class which made you ask yourself, how on earth are you even attending such class if after spending almost two hours to listen and learn from the discussion, you still don’t understand a thing and you barely pass the exams even if you try hard to study?
Yes. Unfortunately, this is one of the realities happening in every student’s life. Complicated subjects along with the piled-up activities, inconsiderate professors, and unfavorable time schedules are among the factors that lead to the scenario explicitly described. These also lead to major problems affecting not only the academic performance of the students but also the effective learning process that should transpire in schools. However, even if these problems persist to exist over the years, students have no other choice but to get through it. And you will realize that sometimes, some things are worth the hard work. As Arnold Schwarzenegger once said, “The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something. You can do it, as long as you really believe 100 percent and you put extra effort”. That being said, we could always do something about these difficult subjects. Let me spill some top secret for success to you.
First, familiarize with the subject. It is good that we know what lies ahead of us specifically in our subject courses because this could reduce the stress significantly by knowing what you’re up to. For example, as a Customs Administration student, we find our Tariff subjects very hard because it requires analysis and skills in computation. So, what we do is we ask our seniors in advance about the available study materials we could use to have a grasp of what the subject demands in terms of topic discussion and activities. One of the realities of hard classes is that they take extra effort, focus and time. It is only right that we prepare ourselves to be more focused and determined.
Start planning and refining your study habits. Determine what topics of your subject you find most challenging and then plot a study plan for the term. Set short term goals and do your best in understanding and studying your lessons. If you make short term goals, you will find it easier to achieve each goal and you are unknowingly preparing yourself to hit your ultimate goal. Meanwhile, frankly speaking, many students go through their college careers with bad study habits. Now that you’re confronting a hard class, it’s time for you to switch your study strategies into shape. Set aside more of your time for reading, writing and other coursework each day, and give yourself rewards to somehow motivate yourself to achieve more.
You have no right to miss a class. By not going to class you may miss out on notes and the lecture, both of which may include important information for exams. In our case, there’s this lesson that has a sequence order of topics and when I missed two days of our class, I was so lost. I find it so hard to cope up which makes my situation worse because I got low scores in the quizzes and exams. And that made me realize how attendance could greatly affect your academic performance as a student. If ever you really need to absent from your class, make sure you will be able to catch up quickly with the lesson because if not, you might try rethinking of missing a half of your life.
On the other hand, you must also listen to your professor. If you listen attentively to your prof, you will know your professor’s approach in teaching and you may use it to your own advantage. You will know what topics should be given emphasis on study and what specific sub topics should be given focus more. This will guide you to a right pace of learning. Also, you could tell nicely and honestly to your professor what you find challenging about the course, and you could use this opportunity to ask if he or she has any tips for helping you understand the more difficult material. It will not only help you but also your other classmates for it will make your professor aware that there are students struggling with the subject he/she is teaching and they may consider adjusting the pace or approach of instruction and discussion to the course. But just remember that when approaching your teacher, you should be polite and don’t be afraid to offer constructive criticism.
They say nothing beats a determined group of students. If you find a class exceptionally difficult, chances are other students do, too and this is a chance for you to help each other. When you study with a group, you gain insights from students who understand some of your problem areas, and you can help others with the material you’re comfortable with in return. But this is not something that should lead to dependence on others or worse case like cheating. In my group of classmates, group study and discussion are very helpful because we could air out our concerns and we understand each other that’s why it’s easy for us to make each other understand the certain topic or lesson. It also makes everything manageable since you have your peers to let you feel that you are not alone in your endeavor.
Take a rest. Don’t get this one wrong. We all have moments in life where we’ve bitten off more than we can chew. Clearing up extra time in your class and homework schedules for challenging courses can make all the difference. If you’re trying to engage in extra-curricular activities, then you might consider dropping it. Remember – dropping an activity isn’t always ‘giving up.’ Learning your limits and how to effectively manage your time is an invaluable skill for school and life.
Fight Stress. Sometimes we make things harder on ourselves simply by worrying about them. It’s important to take some time for yourself to reduce your stress level and gain perspective on your workload. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, eating well and making time for social activities.
Struggling with new concepts is a natural and necessary part of the learning process but we, students, should know how to fight our battles to strive our way to success. We are millennial learners and much is expected from us. Remember the rule, it’s always mind over matter. When you think that a certain subject is difficult, it will eventually be very difficult for you but when you think that you could always do something about these difficult subjects then you might find yourself winning in the end. We might hate our complicated subjects but these are what actually make our college life more colorful and exciting.
By Gilda A. Rodinas, JBLFMU-BSCA