After a study session ended at 1:30 a.m. this Thursday morning, I decided to do my best to put together a list of study tips that are equal parts useful and new. We all understand that sleep is good and over-studying is bad. Below is a list of study tips that I’ve found to actually be useful, rather than the vague “Get enough sleep!” and “Don’t stress out!”
How a bad study session feels.
Change your playlists: Long study sessions can make you tired of short playlists, or tired of the vibe of a long playlist. In high school I’d be able to get through every song that Fall Out Boy has ever created while studying, and it now I can’t listen to some of their music without flashbacks. On that note…
don’t let your playlist bring you down. Last semester I kept having this problem where I’d be profoundly unhappy while doing my homework. At one point, working on physics or math, I turned to myself and asked, “Why am I so sad right now?” I realized that some of the blame could fall on the fact that my homework playlists are filled with songs that are equal parts angst and sadness.
Eight songs from one of my most played homework playlists on Spotify. Not one of these songs are happy.
FOOD: Your breaks should always include eating something or drinking something. Don’t just give your brain a break, but keep fueling it! Drink water, stay hydrated. My personal favorite study snacks are green tea, peanut butter crackers, or orange juice. Also, eating is fun. Two birds, one stone. Also!
Breaks should be fun but not mind-numbing. Don’t go straight to your phone or social media. Get up from your desk, go talk to someone down the hall. Change the pace or the scenery. I always feel like my breaks are better spent when I spend them with someone else, and I never want to come back to studying if I spent my allotted fifteen minutes staring at a screen.
Plan a beginning and an end to studying. If you start a little late or go over a little, no big deal. This way you have a set amount of time to study and you can find places to put the study sesh into your schedule. Plus, that means you won’t end up accidentally studying from 8 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. like I just did last night. I’ll end the list with something I’m sure you’ve heard before, but it’s never been as important as it is now.
Study early. Midterms creep up on you, finals are always looming. Last semester the first time I really cracked open the book for Calculus was four days before the final. As a result, the grade I ended up with in the class (which I’d already taken and decided I did not care about) was not what I had initially expected. It’s a heck of a lot easier to chunk out work in short sessions here or there than cramming everything in right before the deadline.
The Tyra gif
The Office gif