Home » How to learn Organic Chemistry? (10 crazy tips)
Is organic chemistry hard?
Answer: Not at all.
Is organic chemistry complex?
-For some students, Yes!
-But for everyone else, No.
I have known students who have learned organic chemistry in less than three months, and I’ve known others who took the whole year to understand only a few chapters of it. Yet, all these students have a common characteristic: they study regularly.
Definitively, it’s not the subject itself that is difficult, but how much you work on it and if you are studying correctly or not.
But you may think that your organic chemistry experience falls into the second group of students who found it hard to learn everything about this discipline. In that case, you’re not wrong. Like any other subject, organic chemistry can be tough to understand for those who don’t have a strong base on the matter or study irregularly.
Don’t despair, though
I will share my top 10 studying tips with you, and hopefully, these will help you learn this discipline in a way that suits you.
So, How to learn Organic Chemistry?
Here are my 10 crazy tips
Tip#1. Don’t study on Monday- Study on Tuesday.
I do not know if I have the weirdest procrastination schedule in history or just one of its many variations, but it’s been working fine for me so far. Whenever I have an assignment due on Monday, I study on Tuesday.
Believe me; this policy works best for my laziness and sleepiness levels. When you study on Monday night or early morning, your alertness level is not 100% because it has gone way down after the weekend. You are tired and sleepy, so studying becomes difficult at that point. Additionally, suppose you do not plan your work time properly (for example, watching an episode of your favorite show before starting to work). In that case, you may give up halfway through the assignment even though you began to work with good intention, and this is no good.
So please save yourself from these problems by simply changing the day of the week when doing your studying! If there’s something due next Friday evening, study on Thursday instead. Nothing to lose!
Tip #2. Make yourself comfortable while studying.
Let’s be honest here: it’s straightforward to get distracted or fall asleep when comfortable. It is often a given in college, especially in the library, where everyone brings their blankets and pillows to feel more at home while working hard. So if possible, try not to take your dog with you while studying in the library. It would be much better if you studied in the room of your apartment or house where it will be easier for you to keep focused even though there are no penalties for getting lost in your thoughts for a few minutes (or hours).
Tip #3. Eating chocolate won’t make organic chemistry any harder to understand
Learn to take small pauses during your studying, even if it’s just for a few minutes. For example, you may drink some water, eat something or take a 5-minute break. If you feel hungry, grab something! It is essential to keep your energy levels high throughout the day to not complain about being tired when it comes to working time. I’m not saying that eating chocolate will help you with this (I wish ), but at least treat yourself with some sweet stuff every once in a while. You deserve it!
Tip #4. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes: they will make learning organic chemistry easier.
To err is human- So please don’t worry about making mistakes when studying organic chemistry. Mistakes are a natural part of studying, and they will most certainly happen to you. Even if your organic chemistry knowledge is limited, it’s all right. Make a mistake and learn from it!
Mistakes help when you study if they happen early in the process, so please don’t delay studying just because you’re waiting for perfection, and it is just not possible. Trust me.
Tip #5. Seek help from people who can teach organic chemistry better than anyone else
When I started studying my first year of college at the university, I was frustrated with organic chemistry because I had no idea how to do well in this subject. It seemed complicated and unfair to me back then, but now that I think about it, there was something significant that I did not know before then.
You see, many people in this world can teach organic chemistry better than anyone else. They have been teaching at the university for years and have a lot of experience with students. In other words, they know how to get you through your difficulties with organic chemistry because they’ve been where you are right now!
It being said, going to ask for help from them is a brilliant thing to do. Just do it.
Tip #6. Do practice problems even if you have no clue about what’s going on.
Organic chemistry requires a lot of patience. This discipline needs a deep knowledge of the concepts presented and a great deal of exercise obtained by doing lots of practice problems.
But please don’t limit yourself to doing some practice problems to break from your studying. Make sure you understand what you’re doing, try to solve as many problems as possible, and ask for help if necessary. Moreover, do not forget that numerous online resources contain lots of helpful information that will help you better learn organic chemistry.
Tip #7. Don’t be obsessed with grades
Although your academic success indeed enhances your chances of getting a job after college, it is also essential to have a life outside the classroom where things matter too. If being so “obsessed” with grades prevents you from learning organic chemistry properly, then I say this is not good at all!
Grades are not the most crucial thing in life, and however, they represent your performance at the university. And if you have bad grades because you are obsessed with something else, then that’s just too bad. You won’t be able to get a job quickly based on this reason.
Tip #8. Give yourself some time. It will all seem so much easier once you’ve got the basics of organic chemistry.
One of the main reasons people are so afraid of organic chemistry is that it seems so complicated and complex to grasp at first. It makes students feel overwhelmed and stressed about getting good grades on their exams. But there’s something you should know.
The truth is that everything becomes accessible after you master the basics of organic chemistry. In other words, you don’t need to remember everything from your first semester at the university. Just focus on grasping all the topics and concepts crucial for adequately understanding organic chemistry.
Tip #9. Don’t waste too much time if you get stuck with a problem
I can clearly remember how frustrating it was when I didn’t understand something because I couldn’t solve it even though I spent hours and hours studying alone late into the night. It felt like forever! What helped me cope with this situation was that instead of wasting too much time trying to figure out what was going on, I went to see my professor after class to explain everything to me.
I think it’s much better if you ask your professor for help rather than trying to solve the problem on your own because there’s a perfect chance that he will be able to explain the concept more quickly, saving you lots of precious time. Asking for help is usually not something you want; however, it may be the best strategy given the situation at hand, and this brings us to our last tip-
Tip #10. Don’t worry too much about getting good grades in organic chemistry.
Yes! I know what you’re thinking right now, “Why should I avoid worrying about getting good grades when they are so important?” Well, let me tell you why!
Doing well in organic chemistry requires time and energy spent studying. You don’t want to worry about what grade you’re going to get at the end because this will prevent you from focusing on your work. If you keep worrying about what grades you’ll get at the end, then there’s an excellent chance that your performance will drop significantly.
So, relax! If you study organic chemistry carefully and do lots of practice problems, there is no way that you won’t be able to perform well in this class, and even if it seems like getting good grades doesn’t depend only on how hard (or smart) you work. Don’t worry too much about grades because they usually reflect how hard (and smart) you worked in the class, not how hard (or intelligent) you studied outside of it.
So, this is all for today. I hope you’ve found my tips helpful. It will help you enjoy organic chemistry more and get better grades. If you want to do well in this subject, follow my advice and don’t try to “cheat the system” with some fancy tricks, because no matter what they say, a natural organic chemistry grade booster does not exist! Keep on studying, but keep in mind that there’s a life outside of school where things matter too!