Almost any time I’m in a lecture theatre, I’ll be at the back of the room on my own. I always like to be removed from other people around me, disliking the chatter of others. Being at the back of the room allows for an easy escape once the class is over, and it’s the best vantage point for not being overwhelmed when the lecturer uses the microphone.
This habit developed in high school. Since I was the shy one, people didn’t pay me much attention. Memorably, I spent one year of a class on my own and barely had interactions with my classmates: one exception to this was when someone asked me to pass a flyer for the school dance thing.
And thus, I developed the habit of studying on my own. I tried my hand at a study group, but found myself too shy to contribute much.
As for how, I prefer to read. I do better with notes laid out in paragraphs or bullet-points. You know how sometimes you’ll read a book and a particularly striking sentence embeds itself in your memory? That’s what I prefer. That’s how I still remember the opening pages of Madame Bovary. Pictures… well, I don’t have much artistic talent, so I can’t very well sketch things out. I think I once tried a flow chart, but it was very basic and I found it a waste of time when I could just read lines. Lectures, too, are good: I find sometimes I can actually recall the inflection of someone’s voice when they say something.
One time, I found that a movie quote had lodged itself in my brain. I remembered the way it was said: girl’s voice, then slowly imagined the scene and then remembered where it was from. That’s the sort of thing I do, so sometimes I recall lectures to remember what’s been said.