During this time of the school year, when projects are due, tests are flying at us faster than we can handle, sleep is at a premium and we never seem to feel totally caught up, here are seven habits to avoid at all cost if you want to remain diligent in your studies.

Graphic illustration by: Jerason Gines



During the school year some students yearn to improve their study habits, but aren’t always sure where to start.

College is a very different world compared to high school. Students have more freedom in college than they did before.

With more freedom comes more opportunity for the development of poor habits.

Here are the seven deadly habits to avoid if you want to succeed in college:

1. Studying Incorrectly

Occasionally, students get overwhelmed by homework, quizzes and tests. One of the worst things a student can do is to not take notes during class.

Not following teachers’ instructions and thinking negatively are also very bad attributes for studying.

Stop thinking you can’t do something.

Find someone who does well in that subject, learn what they do and use it to improve your study habits.

Take notes and study before test dates approach.

Flash cards and sticky notes are great study tools. Learn how to use these tools effectively for you.

Flash cards are great tools for helping memorize terms for classes that use a lot of vocabulary.

Write the term on the front and definition on the back, quiz yourself or have someone quiz you.

Try to break up study times so you can actually remember what you have spent time studying.

2. Procrastination

Waiting until the last minute to do homework will drive a person crazy and the assignments can be forgotten.

Putting off  studying until the night before the test can lead to poor grades.

As a student, you should set times to do homework and not try to do all of it in one setting.

“Having a to-do list and checking things off makes me feel accomplished,” said Kirsten Howard, a senior in business administration major.

Once the assignment is complete think about rewards. Some rewards like coffee or a special snack (like ice cream) can be very influential to finishing.

A to-do list will keep you so much more organized if you actually use it when you are trying to get things done.

Have a place that you know you can get work done, and go there every time you’re working on school work.

Make sure it’s quiet and away from distractions like the TV or people to talk to.

3. Sleeping habits

Sleep isn’t always a top priority for a large population of students. Staying up all night to study is not beneficial in achieving good grades.

Staying up late impairs mental function and weakens the immune system.

One thing a student can do to improve their sleeping habits is setting a schedule and sticking with it.

Also, turn off electronics 30 minutes before bed. Start slowing the intake of caffeine in the evening down and start relaxing before you get to bed.

Maybe even taking a nap when you get done with classes to help give you energy to finish the rest of your day.

In an article by The Huffington Post, experts explain the benefits of adult napping including increased memory and positive mood.

4. Eating

A college diet is much different from what some kids would eat at home. Most college students have very little money to spend on food or time to make anything.

Students don’t get a lot of variety while eating throughout the day. People grab whatever is easiest to eat on the go, and this usually means a lot of pizza.

Food is at every social occasion for college students so junk food is always easily found.

One of the most sugar- and calorie-filled drinks that college students consume large amounts of is coffee.

“Sleep is a lie,” said Mark Fromme, a junior Christian ministry major. “There is only coffee.”

Carry a water bottle with you during the day so you have something good to drink at your fingertips.

Grocery shopping can be easier than students believe.

In the article by the New York Daily News about college grocery shopping, it gives you a great starter list with food that is actually great for you.

5. Overdoing it

College students are extremely busy. They are encouraged to be a part of activities and hold a job while attending school.

Some full-time students are college athletes that have practice between two and four times a week, not counting extra events they have to attend for their sports.

On top of the tight schedules, students still need to make time to see friends and family, but most importantly call mom.

Learn to say no, it’s really OK not to commit to everything.

You don’t have to be involved with everything on campus, make sure you give yourself enough time to have some down time to get things done.

6. Overuse of freedom

For college students who are no longer living at home, life is completely different. Students are responsible for taking care of themselves.

Some students get caught up in the college lifestyle and stay up late, party and procrastinate.

Going to class is always a struggle for those who have discovered this newly found freedom.

Find someone to keep you accountable if you struggle with making it to class and have a friend text you in the morning before class.

Use a reward system, if you make it all week to class at the end of the week reward yourself with a special coffee drink.

7. Netflix.

Let’s be honest, this is a problem. This is a huge part of the college life.

Marathons, keeping up with all the latest series and watching them as quickly as possible is the normal for most students.

When students are doing homework, most likely they’re watching Netflix. Or they’re choosing to watch Netflix over much-needed sleep.

If this is something you struggle with maybe turning off Netflix while doing your homework or studying might make a difference.

Also a good idea might be limiting yourself to about two hours of Netflix a day or just use it as a reward for after homework or studying.

By Hannah Ballard

Hannah Ballard is a staff journalist for MBU Timeline. Ballard is a junior communications studies major. She is a member of the cheerleading team. Ballard loves to travel internationally and cook. So far her favorite country to eat and visit is France. After graduation, Ballard plans to go to law school.