Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Five Reasons to Curb Your note-taking in College

If there's one thing it's assumed you're going to be doing a lot of during your post-secondary education, it's note-taking. But have you ever stopped to ask yourself why you're taking them? Perhaps it's to ace the next test, or as references for your eventual career. Well, based on my own college experience, I can say there's a good chance you're hitting the notes too hard, and you need to ease up and spend more time listening, especially if you're at a community college, where the emphasis is more on practical skills. This isn't to say that you should never take notes, but you should definitely be a bit more selective about what you jot down, and here's why.
  1. Notes make you pay less attention to what's being said
    Think about it: When you're frantically scribbling or typing up everything your instructor is saying, are you really listening to them? Sure, you're listening to the words, but you're not absorbing them. You're just putting them in your head long enough to spit them out on the page, rather than absorbing the knowledge. Sure, you could always re-read your notes later, but it's likely double the work. And it may be unnecessary, since…
  2. It's probably in your readings
    Pay attention to whether or not there's a textbook for the course. Or, if there's a slideshow or power point, check if they're going to be posted online. While it's not an exact duplicate of a lecture, if you want to review things at a later date, especially if there's a test, you can use that instead. The important thing is that it frees you from the need to take notes, and instead allows you to spend time listening to the lecturer, and actually absorbing what they're saying, which is a good thing, because…
  3. Your education is about more than simple notes
    If you're at college, you're there to become employable, and pick up some job skills. Job skills aren't acquired by lectures alone. Instead, you get them by getting off your feet and working on things. Lectures and the notes they generate have a purpose, in that they provide you with the theoretical foundation to engage in practical skills, but they're only the first part. Learning by doing is the second component, and if you're at a college like Centennial, then you'll be encouraged to get on your feet and work on your profession.
  4. You won't use them when your semester is over.
    Finally, a bit of honesty. If you're like me, you saved your notes, thinking that you'd refer to them afterwards. The truth is, I never once looked at them again after the year had ended. Instead, I remembered the skills I'd practiced through sheer muscle memory. Taking minimal notes leaves you with less clutter, and more room both mentally and physically for the useful skills you will have picked up by the time your education is over.

No comments:

Post a Comment