Human beings are incredibly gifted, and possessing the skill to memorise is one of them. It allows us to remember things from the past and present and recall information at will.
Psychologically, a person has three types of memories; sensory, short-term, and long-term memory. Sensory memories aren’t deliberate or controlled; they are often imprints and impressions of a particular scenario that you once went through. Short-term memory is neither stored for too long nor does it hold the power to retain significant amounts of information. However, the most reliable type of memory for us is long-term memory. Not only does it help us retain a large amount of information, but it also lasts for a very long time. It is the memory you use to remember your first day at school or prepare to take an exam.
Memory, though, shouldn’t be taken for granted. Several habits need to be implemented in our daily life to polish our memory skills. It is crucial, especially for individuals who are studying. When students perform an academic task, their short-term memory allows them to retain the information. But they need to keep practicing to transfer the information into long-term memory to recall it. Keeping this in mind (pun intended), let’s take a look at nine useful and healthy habits for students to improve their memory.
Keep Challenging Yourself
Students must challenge themselves academically continuously. Or else the monotonous routine can demotivate them. And for the sake of growth, one should never stop learning. Even if you are doing a worthwhile job, for instance, as a registered nurse, but have an opportunity to pursue a degree. It would be best if you went for one, for example, a healthcare management bachelor degree. This way, you’ll always have something to look forward to, and the motivation will make education an unforgettable learning experience. Moreover, daily challenges like assigning yourself academic tasks and monitoring your performance are instrumental in keeping memory intact.
Make Learning Exciting
Learning can be quite dull, and it is the primary reason students lack in some of the courses they dislike. As a student, you should look into ways to make the learning experience and completing academic tasks enjoyable. Go for audiobooks and animated presentations. AV aids enhance sensory learning and are better tools to grasp attention. Use coloured pens and post-it notes to add colour and flair to a predominantly black and white process. Make the best use of highlighters. Highlighted texts break the lessons into chunks, which makes them easier to memorise.
Brain workout is a term used avidly by educationalists worldwide. It is a common belief, and a tried and tested method, too, that keeping your brain fresh helps in longer retention of memory. As you grow up, your brain is so used to daily mundane tasks that it requires almost no mental energy to carry them out. But this can be harmful as no new activity can cause your brain to tire out. Using your memory like a robot isn’t a healthy habit. Learn something new, and give your brain something to work with. It can be a new language or a musical instrument. For younger students, brain games like chess and crosswords can be an excellent brain workout outlet. Such activities train the brain to work as fast as possible and hence, improves memory.
Eat Fewer Sweets
Students should always focus on eating healthy, but one ingredient that needs cutting down is sugar! It leads to several chronic illnesses, and it also is a big reason behind slow brain functionality and low memory retention. Many research experiments have proven that consuming a lot of sugar has adverse effects on the brain, especially where short-term memory is collected. So, always try to eat no or less sugar-laden food when preparing for a test, because it can bring about poor performance.
Rise Early, Sleep Earlier
No amount of emphasis on how important it is for students to get their timely sleep will ever be enough. A good sleeping schedule is a way towards a healthy lifestyle, be it physical or mental. Learning and memory are also largely dependent on how well and for how long you are sleeping. Research suggests that crucial memory activity happens while a person is asleep. It is why students should try to hit the hay at the same time every night and wake up precisely after a good night’s sleep. It will be easier if you cut down on caffeine, alcohol, and time spent on smartphones! Especially during the time of this pandemic, the mental health of students is facing adverse effects. Staying up late and a messed-up schedule is a prime reason.
It is okay to feel stressed as assessments and crucial deadlines approach. But remember that cramming a lot of information into your brain at once will not necessarily help in storing it for a longer time. Neurologists suggest that multitasking puts too much pressure on the neural system, which disables memory activity. It means that you should turn off the music or television when preparing for a test or revising your schoolwork. Let your brain focus on your learning alone. This may sound like a bummer to individuals who say that music helps them study better, but, in reality, it’s counterproductive.
Learn to Manage Time
Time management is an essential element in the completion of any task at any stage of life. But it is necessary for students because they have so many deadlines to meet and tasks to complete. It is even more so for individuals who are working and studying simultaneously. Managing time is a useful life-skill, and you can implement it in your daily tasks in several ways. Make a planner and organise your daily goals; this will help you in completing tasks on time. It will also relax your brain and focus productivity on a specific task.
Most importantly, time management will help you avoid cramming. Several research pieces have proven that studying something over time is more effective than feeding all of it to your brain at once. So it would help if you tried to manage time as effectively as possible to improve your memory.
A prevalent and useful method of learning is the use of mnemonic devices. They are learning tools that help students remember a phrase or so with the help of relatable associations. The connection can be built via numbers, a combination of letters, acronyms, or rhymes. It is advantageous because it helps the brain in encoding and recalling information.
Implementing these healthy habits and techniques in daily life will improve your memory in the best way possible. But remember to give your brain some time to relax and calm down. Taking too much pressure while studying can be hazardous. Take some time out to spend with your friends and family, participate in fun activities and enjoy life. Giving rest to your mind is essential to enhance your memory and keep it healthy.