Once more, it’s time to head back to school and hit the books. Returning from vacation and buckling down to lectures and homework isn’t fun, but there are ways to make the most of it. Whether you’re an enthusiastic, type A student or a leisurely type B one, here are some essential learning habits you should cultivate for the coming academic year.
To get the maximum benefit from your education, develop healthy communication habits—both as a sender (talker) and as a receiver (listener). One of the most important habits you should develop is active listening. Sure, you will hear countless bits of information in your classes throughout the year, but how much actual listening will you do? The truth is, not as much as you think. Listening is an active process, not a passive one.
Here’s the difference: while hearing entails picking up sound waves when another person speaks, active listening requires paying attention to what’s said. You must think about the speaker’s message and process it. Detecting the sound of a person’s voice isn’t the same thing as interpreting the message imparted to you. Throughout the school day, ask yourself if you’re just hearing voices or actively listening to what those voices have to say. Then make adjustments as necessary. The more you practice, the easier it becomes.
To avoid missing key points in class, prevent distractions such as conversing with classmates or daydreaming about plans for the weekend. Instead, focus on your instructor’s lectures, making sure to ask pertinent questions on occasion. Active listening habits will pay off when you take the final exam and can recall the required information without a moment’s hesitation.
Proofread Your Assignments
Proofreading your work is also a healthy learning habit. Once you’re finished writing a report or research paper, always check its spelling, grammar, punctuation, and style. Grammarly’s online grammar checking service is a quick way to double-check for errors. Make proofreading a routine, and you’ll not only hand in better reports, but also improve your grammar skills in the process.
Take the Initiative
Next, be proactive about your learning. Your teachers have an obligation to help you learn, but it’s up to you to take advantage of the information they provide. Make a consistent effort to remain engaged in all classroom activities and labs. Interact with your instructor on a daily basis and ask questions when necessary.
Don’t understand a particular concept? Take the initiative and delve deeper until the subject matter is clearer to you—don’t just gloss over concepts that present a challenge. You might think you won’t need to use that knowledge in everyday life, but you could be wrong.
Finally, the best thing about cultivating healthy learning habits is that you’re also preparing for your future vocation. Active listening, checking your work, and taking initiative are applicable to any work environment, regardless of industry. The same habits you use in school will come in handy years later when you make your entrance into the regular workforce. Might as well get a jump-start now!
Nikolas discovered his love for the written word in elementary school, where he started spending his afternoons sprawled across the living room floor devouring one Marc Brown children’s novel after the other and writing short stories about daring pirate adventures. After acquiring some experience in various marketing, business development, and hiring roles at Internet startups in a few different countries, he decided to re-unite his professional life with his childhood passions by joining Grammarly’s marketing team in San Francisco. He has the pleasure of being tasked with talking to writers, bloggers, teachers, and others about how they use Grammarly’s online proofreading application to improve their writing. His free time is spent biking, traveling, and reading.