Getting A Head Start - Good Idea?

  1. I'm a little confused, mainly because my classmates are letting off confusing signals.

    Okay so, we got our booklist for the Spring semester early, and one of my current teachers (who will be teaching some of the Spring semester classes) told us to take advantage of having this list so early, and go ahead and start buying our books so we'll be fully prepared and not suddenly bombarded with having to buy everything in January. Great!

    Well, I spoke with the students a semester ahead of me who are in the classes I will be in, in January. They said the two biggest books to start off with now and to start studying now, were Anatomy and Physiology and the Pharmacology book, but that the A&P was the most time-consuming and difficult so to definitely focus on it.

    So I ordered my A&P text and it arrived. I also ordered some supplements like an interactive CD-Rom, Kaplan Anatomy coloring book, and some A&P flash cards. I've even created an entire binder full of graphs and charts of the different body systems. I want to be well prepared.

    So, my plan was to begin studying the book right now, taking 1 chapter a week and reading it and studying it in my spare time (since this semester I only have 3 pretty easy classes, and a lot more time to study compared to when January comes). I planned to start taking comprehensive notes from my readings, jotting down definitions, studying the graphs, ect. I figured I would be well prepared for the spring semester.

    When I asked my fellow classmates if they planned to get a head start and do the same, almost every single one said no. Only one said yes and that she planned on studying just as much starting right now. A few classmates said no because if they bought the book right now and went to study it, they knew they'd lose interest and never "keep up with it", and that they were going to just wait until the class actually starts before even cracking open the book. To me, with classes that are this difficult, it seems to me that it'd be wise to get a head start in studying the actual textbook if given the oppourtunity.

    I guess I just figured with just a great opportunity (some of the students a semester ahead of me, said they wish they would've had the opportunity of having a few months with the textbooks prior to semester starting) more people would be taking advantage of it. I get the feeling that some of my classmates just feel that because this semester's classes are easy, that next semester's classes (A&P, Pharmacology, Fundementals, Nutrition and Med Surg) will be just as a simple.

    Apparently I'm the only one in class that thinks studying now is good, and it's made me actually second-guess if I am going about things wrong or something, since I'm all alone in my thinking, lol.

    Just checking.
  2. Visit x_factor profile page

    About x_factor

    Joined: Jun '11; Posts: 528; Likes: 324


  3. by   Iridescent Orchid
    Getting a head start is always great. Those stating they'd get bored and get a burn out from it are thinking in the context of living and breathing these textbooks. That's not the way it should be done, or of course, you really would be sick of the material by the time classes start up.

    You said you were planning on reading at the capacity of about one chapter/week...that's a great pace to go towards. Jotting down terms and doing the graphs are another good way to get ahead. Doing so, you're able to learn how to quickly take the most important/complex material and learn it better by writing it out and comprehending the meaning/function. I'm in A&P now and I've also got the Kaplan coloring book and the Kaplan Anatomy Flashcards. Great studying utensils, and they break down your reading/troubled areas time even more! Utilize these. I have nothing, but great things to say.

    There's never anything wrong with getting a head start on your material, especially demanding classes such as A&P and Pharm, as you stated...take it as you will be more informed and knowledgeable throughout each lecture. You'll be able to focus more on the actual lecture, as opposed to trying to jot down every single thing your instructor says or every word that is on the'll have more ideas of the concepts and what the material is.

    It's never dumb to start early! Most definitely listen to your instructors and take advantage of this opportunity!
  4. by   x_factor
    Glad to hear the coloring book and flashcards were a good investment, I can't wait until they arrive.

    I definitely don't plan on spending hours a day studying the A&P book, or you're right, I'd definitely burn out. But as mentioned, I plan on taking about a chapter a week. I figure by January, I will have a nice, comprehensive binder of notes so that any notes I take in class starting in January, I can integrate them into the notes I already have from the book chapters.
  5. by   Cherry02
    I think it is a great idea to start studying the material now, and then you can review it again when the class starts. The repetition will definitely help the information to stick, and studying over a longer period of time is definitely more helpful than cramming a lot of info in a short time.

    Even if you were to "lose interest," you still need the book for the upcoming semester, so you have nothing to lose; only to potentially gain.

    Good luck! You will not regret getting a head start!
  6. by   Soontobehope
    I take the opportunity to get a head start, whenever possible...I feel it really gives you an advantage in that when the class actually starts, you spend less time working on each unit.

    I actually emailed my professor to get a copy of the syllabus (hers wasn't posted online). LOL. As embarassing as that is, I am currently 3 units ahead of the game. This will allow my more time to study for midterms or take a mental day off from studying.