study tips from a college graduate ;) time management, note taking, motivation


hello my friends it’s nina and i am so excited to be making this video also i don’t know how long i’m going to be wearing these i can’t wear them like this or else you can’t see my eyeballs i just thought the glasses fit but they’re not really working out this is also fine too so today i’m going to be talking about my study tips and how i survived college because as a college graduate i think i am somewhat qualified to give you some study tips so without further ado let’s just get into it so just some background information i graduated from uc berkeley just a month ago i was in college for four years i was first a community college student and then i transferred to uc berkeley i started college right after high school no break, i just went right in and then i’m done within 4 years throughout my college career i got As and Bs mostly As in my first two years of community college i actually got a 4.0 when i got to berkeley i actually didn’t do that bad i got mostly As and i think like a B per semester but that’s okay, grades don’t define you it just defines whether you get stuff done or not i was a media studies major at uc berkeley so my studies were very liberal arts oriented there was a lot of reading lots of papers lots of writing in the exams but i think that heavily affected the way that i studied in general my tips should be helpful for someone out there this also doesn’t just apply to college this can apply to high school middle school any level of education you’re in you don’t even have to be in school hopefully there’s some kind of tip in here that helps you with your life but other than that let’s just get into the video so i’m going to jump right in to my very first tip which is probably the most important tip that i cannot stress enough is give yourself lots of time to study looking back through my college career i don’t think there was ever a time that i studied less than two days it was always at least two days for me to study for an exam the way that i got myself to study earlier was to just read the study guide as soon as possible i don’t know how it is for every major but for every single class that i’ve taken at uc berkeley we had study guides for pretty much everything after you read the study guide you decide whether you’re going to study right after or if you’re gonna study the next day but at least you opened the study guide but that’s always how i did it, i just read the study guide as soon as possible and usually i would just go right into studying but of course sometimes you put it off and that’s ok not really the best thing to do but that’s okay but as a college graduate and as a person that’s literally experienced every level of education except for grad school i’m not doing that giving myself enough time to study was so important i would have time to ask questions i would have time to literally go thru everything that’s on the study guide a lot about productivity and motivation and all that has to do with how you feel mentally and physically, but mostly mentally and so if you’re not in a time crunch you’re not anxious, you’re not panicking you’re not feeling like you’re all over the place and now that we’ve discussed time and now that we’ve actually started our study session i’m going to get into the fun part which is note taking and actually studying so i think the first biggest tip is obviously handwriting your notes now personally i actually typed my notes in college most of the time unless the class required that you write your notes in a notebook i preferred just using a laptop mostly out of efficiency i love handwriting my notes, i love stationery and all that but out of efficiency and because lectures can sometimes be super fast i just opted for a laptop and just typing it out on google docs or something i usually had a notebook associated to each class that i had even if i used the laptop i would just keep a notebook for that class and i would just keep it at home but i would rewrite my notes from my laptop to this notebook and then i would go into annotation i actually have examples of how i did this the notebook that i used throughout college it began with spiral notebooks but then i moved on to muji notebooks ever since my friend introduced me to muji a year or so ago but basically for this class i typed out all my notes but i still had a notebook for it and in this notebook i would write out all my notes in black then i would highlight anything i needed to highlight i’m not sure if everyone does this i’d be surprised if people didn’t do this but i like indenting and using bullet point systems i hope that people do this it would just help visually to see my notes go like this and this instead of just having everything go like this but after i finish writing a page of notes in black and underlining everything i need to underline i would actually go and start color coding i didn’t really have a system it was more just like one color was the heading and another was terms and another was like little notes that i wanted to highlight i just wanna tell you guys that i really went ham with my studying i’m looking back at the notes from a class that i took i really tried hard i got a good grade in that class so it was worth it for the annotation i would use a red pen or a blue pen just anything that wasn’t black then i would annotate my notes i think we all know what annotating is but basically what annotating is is just making more notes about what you’re reading you would annotate a textbook, a novel i annotated my own notes and this was effective because basically you were rereading what you rewrote wow i really did the most and so you would get results like this where you just had black and red i would bubble important things i would circle important things i also drew a lot of diagrams but basically simplified my note taking system is writing it all out in black and underlining what i needed to remembering to indent and use bullet points and then i would highlight those black notes and then finally i would annotate my own notes until i understood it more oh that reminds me i should show you what i actually highlighted with AHH i dropped it nooo these zebra mildliners and just some highlighters from muji were my lifesavers it’s just nice to have a variety of colors for your brain good thing about these mildliners is you have a chisel point as you can see right here and then on the other side a nice fine tip pen so it helped with underlining and highlighting and then i just used black blue and red pens for standard writing just some quick other points that can help you with your studying i also use quizlet i don’t think i used quizlet that much by the end of my college career i think i used it more for earlier classes when there were a lot of terms and stuff but if there are a lot of terms you can use quizlet, you can also make physical flashcards but out of efficiency as well i just didn’t wanna buy a bunch of index cards as a college student you just lean towards efficiency and convenience but i think writing out my notes in a notebook was efficient enough i didn’t need flashcards because it was all in here and i could just flip through everything like this now we’re moving on to the next tip which is time management and part of time management for me was using a bullet journal i actually started bullet journaling in high school but my system was just not efficient at all i couldn’t keep up with it and so it wasn’t really helpful in high school but in college i was bullet journaling all the time but having a bullet journal really kept me on schedule and helped me see what my tasks were and i was actually consistent with my bullet journal as well every single sunday i would take the time to open my bullet journal listen to good music and take the time to write out my life write out my thoughts write out my tasks make my journal pretty it was just a nice productive time you don’t have to have the most complicated layout you can also have a minimal layout if you want a more complex layout go for that as well, just go for whatever makes you happy personally my two brain cells could only take a minimal layout so i kept a minimal layout but it worked for me and if you’re not really an analog person and you just wanna go digital there’s also google calendar just use some kind of system that helps you keep yourself on a schedule you’re going to need it we are just trying to reduce our anxiety and stress because that is very important for having a successful study session next tip i have is study music music was definitely very helpful when i was studying it helped keep me at peace it helped me chill out it helped me be focused when i study i prefer music that doesn’t have lyrics just because i can get distracted if the song has lyrics i can sing along to i actually just made a playlist on youtube they give you the option to make a video playlist i just added a bunch of youtube playlists into that one playlist and i actually have it public on my channel and so if you wanna use it i’ll provide a link down below but i loved lofi hip hop i loved chill music without lyrics i listened to a whole lot of bts piano playlists it’s all there for you but if you wanna keep yourself focused i definitely recommend listening to some kind of music the next tip i wanna talk about is something that is very important and is also going to determine your energy for studying which is food/snacks/drinks and speaking of drinks i’m actually going to take a sip of my water a very important thing that you should always be thinking about whether you’re in college or not whether you’re studying or not is taking care of your health i highly recommend keeping snacks around when you’re studying the snacks that i opted for were usually fruits nuts or usually a clif bar a lot of the time tho i did go to cafes i had a lot of lattes and americanos, and pastries it’s okay to treat yourself sometimes but make sure you’re eating healthy as well but most of the time i would bring fruits or nuts in little tupperware containers just because fruits are frickin expensive when you buy them outside like if you go to a cafe at berkeley to buy a cup of fruit it could be $7 for a cup of fruit i’m not doing that and so i just brought my own fruit i would take the time in the morning to cut them up i would also bring nuts my favorite nuts were either almonds or cashews but i loved berries because of those antioxidants i loved grapes watermelon just any kind of fruit also you could carry vegetables just make sure you’re feeding yourself things that will make you oh my gosh i forgot to take my vitamins i’ll eat my vitamins later anyway the food that you eat is really going to affect the way that you study so make sure you’re taking care of yourself eat your fruit, eat your vegetables also drink a lot of water i drank a lot of water make sure you’re also near a bathroom next tip i have for actually studying is study with friends if you can if you don’t have friends that’s okay but if you do have friends study with them for me, it really helped having my friends’ opinions and thoughts and their ideas of something to help my studies and as i said it’s okay to study on your own as well i know that personally for me i did study with friends sometimes but i was mostly productive being on my own anyway but if questions do arise just remember to ask a peer or ask a professor or ask a teacher’s assistant or something basically talking to someone about the material is another way to engage with what you’re studying so it does help you in another way which leads to my other point which is ask questions which is why i emphasized in the beginning to give yourself lots of time to study because questions will come up if you can’t answer those questions it’s not going to be a fun time studying worst case scenario, just google it along with asking questions i also recommend going to review sessions sometimes in classes you do get an optional review session i usually tended to force myself to go to those review sessions just because i didn’t really want to miss out on it and i might as well go that’s really how my brain worked i never gave myself a break but i would go to these optional review sessions and they were pretty helpful so if you feel like you don’t really know enough to study on your own and your professor gives you a review session i definitely recommend going to at least one it can help a little bit now the final tip that i’m going to give you throughout all this studying information is probably the most important one which is to remember to believe in yourself throughout everything college and high school and basically life in general it’s going to be hard and you’re going to have a lot of dark times a lot of moments of negativity anxiety stress sometimes it just gets the best of you and sometimes you just slip into these dark places no matter if yesterday was a good day sometimes a bad day will come it’s really important to remember that time will always pass no matter how intense the situation feels no matter if you feel like it’s never going to end it will end it will everything goes everything passes time keeps moving the last few weeks of college more like the last few months but especially the last few weeks of college were probably the darkest times for me i never felt so low and so unconfident about myself i literally felt like i wouldn’t graduate or i wouldn’t pass my classes because i literally was so scared because i was in a dark and hard time i get dms a lot about people saying i don’t know how to keep myself motivated i don’t know how to push myself to get my stuff done where do i get this motivation how do i keep going and it’s really about believing in yourself because society, the world outside of you might keep pushing you down but someone has to be there to tell yourself that you will get through this it had to be me i had to tell myself i’m gonna get through this also i had my friends and people around me telling me stop thinking that way, you’re gonna graduate there’s no formula for knowing how to always motivate yourself sometimes it’s just not there sometimes you can literally only cry then the next day it will be another day i genuinely loved learning when i was in college i loved it but of course there was busy work there would always be things that came up and it would affect my mood i would just tell myself i was getting an education in the end i was becoming a more knowledgeable person somehow some way even if it wasn’t really useful information or applicable information for real life or anything like that it was still knowledge it made me learn something about the world it made me gain some kind of perspective years before when i was in high school i would’ve wished i was in the place i was in it’s always just remembering why you’re doing something remembering that you’ve been through so much and that you are literally capable you literally have something that made you get to the point where you are now even if it sounds cheesy give yourself a pat on the back sometimes tell yourself you can do this tell yourself you can get through it i didn’t tell myself “get an A” i didn’t tell myself “you’re the smartest person in the world” i just told myself “you’re gonna get through this, and you’re gonna get to another point in the future” don’t give yourself so much pressure be easy on your mind be easy on your heart be easy on yourself unless you work well under pressure everyone’s different but in the end just take care of your health take care of yourself get lots of sleep if you can drink a lot of water eat foods that make you feel good literally keep yourself organized have good people around you hug your pet take walks take breaks, look at a sunset, look at a sunrise just remember that in anything in life whether it’s studying, whether it’s work, whether it’s whatever else is going on in your life taking care of yourself is the number one priority because that is literally your life that is your body that is your being there is going to be something that will make you feel less about yourself that will make you think less of yourself or that you’re learning or doing useless things but everything’s a societal construct just remember that you deserve to love yourself and live your best life just live the live that you want as long as you’re not hurting others as long as you’re not hurting yourself just take care of yourself that’s the biggest tip i can give throughout this entire study tips video but remember to have some confidence in yourself throughout hard times and if you don’t have that confidence then just know that i believe in you i do ok? i want the best for you you’re gonna get through this i got through everything as a college graduate i’m here navigating through life figuring everything out no one ever really figures out their life ever even if you’re a parent even if you’re a grandparent there’s going to be more things to experience more things to answer more things to find out you’ll be okay you’re going to get through this and you’re going to graduate or if you’re not going to college you’re going to move on to another part of your life life keeps going anyway that was more existential than it needed to be but that is all the tips that i can really give you for this video doing anything in life, remember to work on yourself and make sure that you feel good here and here so that whatever you do you can go in with a good heart and a good mind and a good foot forward i’m gonna just put on my glasses to end it i hope that this video was helpful in some kind of way and as always my tips are not exhaustive there are plenty of things that you guys can share leave it in the comments if you have more study tips make a discussion down there but that is all i’m going to say for this video i hope you enjoyed it and happy studying and you’re going to get through this you’re going to graduate unless people already graduated now it’s june huh i don’t know where people are at right now my friends are still in college anyway i graduated thank you for watching this video and i will see you in my next one! bring it in for a hug!! goodbye my friends 🙂

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32 thoughts on “study tips from a college graduate ;) time management, note taking, motivation”

  1. astraeus says:

    time stamps if you’re looking for smth specific:
    01:38 give yourself time to study!
    03:01 handwriting your notes
    06:30 time management (bujo)
    07:37 study music
    08:25 food and drinks
    09:47 study w friends
    10:27 ask questions
    11:17 believe in yourself (aka ninas cute motivational speech that gives me namjoon vibes. gosh i love her)

  2. Ayera says:

    nina, i love u so much. pls keep being the wonderful human that u are

  3. Hoseok Kai says:

    Thanks for this advice I start college on monday and I'm scared, I have social anxiety and idk what to do but after this I feel a little more confident ❤

  4. almedina says:


  5. Magpie says:

    Lol I do the indenting thing too. I think anyone who took any heavy writing/note-taking course got this hammered over their head.

  6. samminos says:

    literally stumbled through high school with Cs and Ds (and even some Fs
    I M P R O V E

  7. oxi jin says:

    I’m starting my first year of college and my anxiety is at its all time high but I’ve already started to write all my assignments in a planner. WE GOT THIS GUYS. LETS HAVE A GOOD YEAR 🥺💜

  8. tamim tasfiha says:

    BTS chill piano music is my lifesaver. I thought I was the only one but now I realize I'm not.

  9. France says:

    thanks for this nina!! 💖💖

  10. Stiina Manninen says:

    came for some studying tips, but this actually ended up to help me with my existental crisis.

  11. Mary H says:

    I'm starting college this September and omg I'm doing media too!

  12. Sofía Santiago says:

    I needed that pep talk at the end

  13. jahadah murphy says:

    I just discovered you and am so grateful

  14. niña e. says:

    everything goes uwu

  15. uwu says:

    getting ready for my last semester @ cal and coming back to this vid for some motivation :,)

  16. Brooke Thole says:

    I hate quizlet but I can’t deny it’s helpful. I don’t study because super lazy and 2. I’m a horrible test taker and tend to get bad test grades regardless, but this year I’m going to really try to study because man should I do it

  17. KannAnimes says:

    Please portuguese subtitles

  18. mka d says:

    I found some of your advices very helpful! thank u sm.😊💕💕 I was very stressed before watching your video and now I feel much better. :(💕

  19. India Walsh says:

    Is anyone else watching this instead for do homework/studying

  20. beatriz fukumoto says:

    11:49 everythingoes

  21. Ann Green says:

    love u babe thx for the video <3

  22. Fiona Yang says:

    i c u chimmy…

  23. Adesope Adisa says:

    "grades don't define you, they define if you get stuff done or not"
    me:*gets a d*
    me :now it all makes sense

  24. Billie frickin Eilish STAN says:

    you are literally a perfect human

  25. hunohlulu says:

    this is actually very hepful!!!

  26. Asma Zainab says:

    hi i used to get good grades and now i get bad grades i applies to university and they reject me all this things go through my mind everyday

  27. Kourt Wolf says:

    omg uc berkeley is my dream college

  28. ↞Jamz↠ says:

    I love watching study and note-taking tips but never really doing the study

  29. sharon says:

    one of the best advice videos I’ve listened to :(( it’s so relatable and really what I needed. ty nina!!

  30. Kwamiiかわみい says:

    You’re such a wonderful and an inspirational person 😊

  31. Madison B. says:

    I have the same glasses😂

  32. Willian Andrea says:

    Thank you for that believe in yourself tip, those were the words that I really need right now that I'm doubting myself and capabilities in passing my course :(( i love you!!

  33. Kaitlyn L says:

    nina: drink a lot of water
    *glances at my bubble tea in my hand*
    me: slowly takes a sip

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