Thanks for posting this James and thanks for the replies, Steve!
I've been trying like H-E double hockey sticks (
) the last three years to figure out how to get even close to Steve's level of success in college and have failed.
The posts here help a lot, Steve. I'm good at picking up concepts for personal development, but it's hard for me to see the actual day-to-day application. Sometimes I need a good "Here, stupid, that's all it's about--stop over-complicating."
So.... habits for kicking college's ass:
1) Audiobooks to keep positive mindset
2) Mindset: There is no failure, there is only one outcome--the one we want
3) Almost no online social networking/surfing/etc
4) 30 minutes daily aerobic exercise
5) Pocket notebook for keeping track of assignments
6) Complete assignments in one stretch
7) Do homework during class
8) Skip unnecessary classes where possible
9) Healthy diet
James--I'm learning how to process as much information during lecture as possible within my notes to save time later (idea came from Study Hacks). This is the first semester I've done that, and so far it's working out really well. So that's something you might do in classes you need/have to attend.
My only barrier is if I come to class with a foggy brain, I can't process anything--solution? Better sleep, diet, and exercise habits. My sleep schedule (not the # of hours) seems to be the biggest factor.
I'm also experimenting with the Question/Answer method of taking notes from the textbook and that seems to be working well too. The key in both is processing the information, not just recording it.
Depending on the class, I've also found rewriting my notes helpful--being forced to organize them into main topics and sub-topics, connect ideas, add information from various sources (compiling lecture, assignments, and textbook info), write examples, and draw my own diagrams seems to make testing a breeze. Again--processing the information. I identify all my weaknesses and create notes I could essentially teach the class from (and, actually, I have. I ended up a teacher's assistant and those notes saved me.
I don't know if Steve went with that principle (processing vs. recording in notetaking), but it seems to be on the right track for my own studying.
Anyway, excuse me while I go implement those habits.