I think we’ve all been there at least once or twice. For me, it was every year from 5th to 10th grade. Yes, I’m talking about when the teachers get all of the students together and give them a quiz that will tell them once and for all the most important thing everyone needs to know in life: what kind of learner they are. I’ve known since elementary school that I’m a strong Visual and Kinesthetic Learner. So I have to see illustrations of concepts or get hands on in order to fully absorb material. Auditory learning is absolutely not my cup of tea, but other people consistently got that they were better listeners than readers or tinkerers. My results were the same every time we took that quiz, and by 8th grade I could predict the questions. It was tedious and redundant, but the test did have a point. More than I’d like to admit, I think about what kind of learner I am on a frequent basis to figure out the best way to study for a big test. Surprisingly, the kind of college campus you live on can have a massive impact on what you can do to maximize your study time.
For the Visual Learner
You’ll be doing a lot of reading. You’ll probably take really great notes in class, complete with diagrams and pictures to help you when the night before the exam rolls around and you need a good study guide. Most likely you’ll be spending a lot of time in quiet places around campus. Libraries usually work on a system of corresponding floor and noise levels. The ground floor might be the talking floor, and every level up from there will get increasingly quieter until the last floor is for silent study. Hushed study floor and/or the silent floor are the best for reading and studying via staring at your notes wishing that you could just memorize it all in a second and be done. If you can study well with headphones in then anywhere can work for you. How this affects your campus choice depends on how far you’re willing to go for a proper study locale. If the dorms are a huge hike from the library and you know you won’t be able to get work done with the distractions of a busy dorm room, then you may want to consider other options. Tough winters also make walking even the shortest distances difficult. Try your best to make these predictions early.
For the Auditory Learner
The lower floor of libraries or any other public study venue where talking is acceptable is going to be great for you. You’ll probably need to talk out loud or bounce your thoughts off of a study buddy in order to get a good grasp on your subjects. The colleges on an auditory learners list should have plenty of outlets for loud studiers to go about their business undisturbed. Check to see what kind of study rooms are available to reserve. These may be in the library or in classrooms, but the amount of security and freedom that comes with having a group study room just for you is exactly what you need for those important exams that require a lot of discussion. If a college doesn’t have good resources for this, it may not be the best for you.
For the Kinesthetic Learner
There are lots of types of kinesthetic learners, but generally this entails needing some sort of action while studying. It can be as much as needing to pace and move around to needing a varied collection of highlighters to constantly mark your textbook with. Like the auditory learner, group study rooms would be good for you to move around in. If you’re the highlighting type and just want to pop in your headphones, listen to music and get in the zone, any level of the library will do fine. However, you want to be on the lookout for colleges with study-friendly dorm rooms, because it might be to your benefit to do whatever hands-on thing you need to do in the comfort of your own space. More importantly, look for colleges where the students have strong relationships with professors who are accessible either for scheduled meetings or during office hours. Interaction with the professor will help you figure out how the concepts work in a more direct way than through a textbook or notes.
Lots of factors go into a college list, but no matter how fun and exciting college is meant to be, it also needs to be a time for hard work and academics. Study habits and strong resources are going to be crucial for getting the most out of your college curriculum, and if your campus doesn’t cater to your individual needs, it will require much more work on your part to make sure you’re ready come midterms and finals. If the learner quiz I described above is unfamiliar to you, there are plenty of versions around the internet that will indicate how you learn and what you can do to better your study methods. Here’s one to check out. Good luck, and study on.
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