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Use Your Brain

Engage Your Emotions

You are one of the most powerful sources of information. You have gone to school for at lease a dozen years, you may have worked at various jobs after school during the summers, you may have gone to places and met people who taught you many lessons in living. You may have married, returned to school after a personal experience with your family, or simply dropped out of high school when you were young. Whatever your story, it is not exactly like anyone else’s. In my own personal experience, I can find the materials that will provide ideas, supporting materials, and arguments for my personal use by using my brain.

One powerful way to enhance your memory is to make friends with your amicability. This is the area of your brain that is with extra neural activity—where you feel a strong emotion. You are more likely to remember course material when you relate it to a goal—whether academic, personal, or career—that you feel strongly about. This is one reason why it pays to be specific about what you want. The more goals you have and the more clearly they are defined, the more channels you can create for incoming information.

I can use this strategy even when a subject seems boring at first. If you are not maturely interested in a topic, then create interest. Find a study partner in the class if possible, someone you know and like, or form a study group. Consider getting to know the instructor personally. When a course creates a bridge to human relationships, you engage the content in a more emotional way. Due to new academic standards, there are often fewer tests in higher education than in high school, and the grading might be tougher.

I find that teachers expect you to study more that you did in high school. However, at the same time, your instructor might give you less guidance about what or how to study, and less feedback about how you are doing.