By Rajit Agarwal, Social Media Intern, Berkeley Class of 2023

As summer is quickly coming to a close and the school year just around the corner, it’s time to get off that surfboard and hit the books. Getting back into study mode can be challenging after a warm relaxing summer, so here are some quick tips on back to school study habits to get you right on track.

Tip #1: Creating a distraction-free zone

A study done by UT-Austin has shown that even when cell phones are on the table and on silent mode, they are diverting our attention away from the task at hand. Just “one” quick glance at Facebook or Instagram could send you spiraling down a black hole and before you know it you’ve been staring at cat videos for two hours. Next time, power off your phone, and put it somewhere out of sight and out of mind. 

Tip #2: Organizing your study supplies

We all like to be messy sometimes, and our backpacks can be one of the messiest things in our rooms. With pencils and notebooks all over the place, it’s easy to lose track of where your things have gone. Invest some time into coming up with a system of organization that works best for you. Do you like to have one binder that has all your classwork? Or do you prefer individual notebooks for each class. Spending some time now will help save you from the stress you’ll get when you are searching the bottom of your backpack for that one missing homework assignment.

Tip #3: Managing your time wisely

Purchase an agenda or composition book and write down everything that you need to do. You don’t need to just write down school work, write down all your extracurriculars and chores you need to do each day. This will also help keep you organized and save you time. Be realistic with how long your assignments will take. If they’re long, split them up into parts that you do on different days. If you’ve got a research paper or science project due in a week, don’t wait until the night before to get started. Getting into a routine will help you be efficient in your work. 

Tip #4: Finding more than one study space

It’s important to have a clean desk to study at home, but that doesn’t mean that should be the only place you do work. Coffee shops, libraries, and cafés are all different environments that can help you concentrate better. Even just moving to the dining table downstairs is enough of a change of scenery which will allow your brain to retain information better.