Learning Styles, College Stress, and Study Tips for College
The Variety of Learning
There are many ways to learn in our world today. You can see something happen, you can hear a lecture, or you can experience the
subject itself hands-on. From this interaction, it is not surprising that there are three different learning styles. College stress can be eased if you understand these three styles and learn how to adapt to them.
Every student has a particular learning style, and they can become aware of it through simple assessments. Make sure to know your particular style before moving on.
Three Learning Styles
The first learning style is known as a “visual” style. People who favor this type often focus by visually seeing things with their eyes as well as through their “mind’s eye.” Visual learners are often avid note takers who usually benefit from visual aids such as PowerPoints and charts when being taught. When taking tests, visual learners often try to “visualize” the information in their head when they try to remember information. Unlike auditory or kinesthetic learners, visual learners often get distracted by noises or other stimuli and prefer to focus on things in isolation. If you have a photographic memory, chances are you are a visual learner.
The second learning style is known as an “auditory” style. Individuals in this category tend to learn by listening and hearing. These learners tend to be very talkative and usually learn by verbal or listening lessons. For example, if you have ever known a person who never took notes and ended acing the course simply by listening, chances are they are an auditory learner. If you can doodle while a professor lectures and still remember the lecture, chances are you also have this learning style.
The last learning style is known as the “kinesthetic” style. This category refers particular individuals who learn from “hands-on” experiences. For example, many “touchy-feely” people belong to this category in which they like to touch things with their hands. If you like tinkering with objects and love doing hands-on activities such as building things or cooking, chances are you are a kinesthetic learner. Learners who belong to this group often have a hard time paying attention in the classroom because they cannot move around, however this does not mean that they cannot learn.
Continue reading to learn how you can adapt to other learning styles; college stress can be greatly reduced if you understand how to use these styles!
Adapting for Visual Learners
So you have taken the assessment test and have discovered what learning styles are. College stress seems easier to handle, right? Well, not yet at least. There will be times when your particular style in not used in college. Even though your style is not used, you can still be successful in college by taking a deep breath and adapting to every situation.
Let’s say that you are a visual learner taking a Biology class. The teacher focuses on lecturing with no visual aids and to make matters worse they are difficult to take notes from. Do you panic? No. To the best of your ability, you have to adapt to this situation.
One way to solve this problem is to continue to take notes for the teacher; however, you should also listen attentively to the lecture. Focus on listening to the teacher foremost and write your notes as a secondary option. This is important because sometimes you can miss things through note taking, and if you pay attention by listening, chances are you can remember it better than by simply note taking. You can also ask your teacher if you can record them with a recording device. If he or she accepts, you can listen to the lecture and take notes at your own pace.
Adapting for Auditory Learners
Let’s say that you are an auditory learner who is taking a business course. The teacher primarily uses PowerPoint slides that have most of
the information about graphs and scale models. Rather than lecturing, the teacher has the students analyze the visual aid in order to take notes. Since you do not focus on taking notes, you cannot get the gist of the information because the teacher does not really lecture on the material.
The teacher focuses on having you digest the material through the visual aid; however, this is not your favorite learning style. College stress begins to mount and you begin to worry that perhaps you won’t remember the information. One way to counter this is to focus on taking notes from the visual aid. Even though this is not your strong point, it never hurts to take notes and listen to some of the points that the teacher expresses.
Another thing you can try is to try to sum up the teacher’s points in your head as you listen and take notes. This may help your memory when you take tests. Of course, you can also look at your notes and say them aloud as you study for test time. Another tip is to keep your lecture notes organized so that you will not have to waste time trying to find certain papers or notes.
Adapting for Kinesthetic Learners
Let’s say that you are a kinesthetic learner who is in an English class. The teacher lectures and provides PowerPoint slides about the American poet Emily Dickinson. Since you usually learn from hands-on experiences, you have a hard time paying attention to the visual aids as well as the words from the teacher. In order to adapt to this situation, it would be better for you to take notes and listen attentively during the lecture.
After the lecture, take your notes and memory from the class period and try to construct something with your hands. This can vary from
building a small scale model to just drawing out a diagram. For example, let’s say that you learned about a particular poem about Emily Dickinson. When you construct something (let’s say, out of pretzel sticks), try to relate the figure to Dickinson’s poem. Perhaps you construct a two-dimensional figure of a heart that Dickinson was relating about in her poem about a lover. You can use this to remember certain aspects of the lecture and combined with your listening and note taking, chances are you can remember the lecture.
If you remember all of these tips from the past two learning styles, college stress can become easier to manage. Just remember that there are also some other things you can do.
Learning Styles and Study Tips for College
There are many environments in which we have to adapt to our circumstances. The most important thing to remember when being challenged is to keep a cool attitude and adapt to the best of your ability. Things are going to be difficult; however, if you take your time and persevere, chances are you can overcome any challenge that comes your way.
A few other tips can help you reduce stress when facing these challenges. For one thing, make sure that you are well-prepared for your classes. If you are assigned a particular reading or assignment, make sure that you complete it before you attend class. Another tip is to study or complete homework with a friend in the class that you are taking. Maybe the person you are studying with has a different style that can help you in the long run.
If you are trying all of these steps and are still having trouble, consider asking the teacher for help. Perhaps the teacher can provide you with materials that help your particular style. Also, make sure that you are eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and are actively engaged in some sort of exercise. This will help you with remember information in your class as well as help you maintain your health.
One last thing to remember is that people are not handicapped to one learning style. Many people pick up material through a combination of learning styles. College stress can become easier to manage once you understand that you are not limited to one style, and that you can adapt in any given situation!
James, B.W. “Three Different Learning Styles.” https://people.usd.edu/~bwjames/tut/learning-style/styleres.html
Benbennick, David. “Ear.” https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ear.jpg
Krampitz, Albrecht. “Auge des Menschen.” https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Auge_des_Menschen_von_au%C3%9Fen.jpg
Maljkovic, Filip. “Pretzels.” https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pretzels-bunch.jpeg
Ming888. “Lightbulb.” https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lightbulb.jpg