What strategies did you use in college to sharpen focus and memory, while retaining the materials?

I’m currently almost finished with my AA degree in accounting at a local community college, and would like to ideally pursue a BS degree in the same subject.

However, I fear losing focus and stamina, as I’m told the contents in a four-year university are a whole ‘heck-of-a-lot’ harder than in a two-year college!

What strategies, tools, or self-care techniques did you use while in school to retain focus and memory, while boosting retention of the materials?

Did you visit on/off campus counselors more often? Talk to instructors about the homework or papers? Play soothing music before or after a test? What did you do exactly?

Many thanks,


I went back to school at the age of 35 to complete my bachelor’s degree and then my master’s degree. The thing that helped me most was having access to and using the student disability resource center. With a documented disability on file, I was permitted longer test times, taking tests at the center alone so I didn’t have to be in a crowded classroom, note takers if I had to miss a class, and other general supports tailored to my needs. Check your campus to see if they have a student disability resource center, it can make things easier to cope while going to school

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Yes, I’m currently using the disability resource center on my campus. But I don’t have access to the notetakers (I’m a 100% remote student). I also receive extended test times, but feel it isn’t nearly enough to help grasp the materials. I find the more advanced coursework to be quite challenging and memorization (particularly with distance learning) to be of no real use.

For instance this term, I’m taking financial management. But there is ZERO interaction with the other students (no forum discussions), and my instructor (who is quite a bit older) is real SLOW to respond to emails. It’s also difficult to get him to go into any extended detail in emails, and there isn’t any real option to discuss assignments over a quick phone chat.

How might I encourage my instructor to be more engaging and not be so stodgy about explaining?


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