As final exam week draws nearer, students are wise to start paying special attention to their studies. Many students settle into routines and strategies that make the studying process easier and less stressful, no matter how unique or unconventional.
Sophomore zoo and wildlife biology major Anna Gensimore said, “I usually sit on the floor and spread out my stuff all around me, and I use lots of colored pens.”
Some students find eating or chewing on something help to keep them focused on their studies.
“I have this weird thing where I always have to have something in my mouth while I’m doing work,” said sophomore integrated language arts major Allison Hammerle. “Like last night I was eating peanuts… and I also have this leather nametag that I used at camp, and I’ll chew on the edge of that.”
Other students have found solutions to making their dorm room feel less cramped.
“I always have to have the windows open when I study,” said freshman creative writing major Kenna Larson. “It makes me feel less claustrophobic.”
Some study habits are more universal than others.
Often, listening to music helps to keep students focused and relaxed while studying. Many students can be seen across campus wearing earphones as they type papers or pore over textbooks.
“I’ll try to listen to songs that I haven’t heard very often so I don’t know the words and I won’t be tempted to sing along,” said Hammerle. “I’ve been trying to listen to instrumental music lately.”
The kind of music students listen to varies.
“I like light classical piano music,” said sophomore English major Paul Smith, who always listens to music when he is studying. “[And] I listen to lots of Pandora stations, like Matt Carney radio.”
Often, what students do between study sessions is just as important as the studying itself. Everyone needs to take a break from the books once in a while and do something to relax and de-stress.
“Running helps me relax,” said Smith, a member of the men’s cross country team.
Exercise is a study break that takes on multiple forms.
“Usually I’ll go take a walk around campus and clear my head,” said Gensimore, who also said she loves to go on the swings by the basketball court.
Studying is also much more effective when broken up into shorter sessions to avoid fatigue from sitting for hours in a row.
“My strategy is to take breaks almost frequently enough to not be studying,” said Hammerle. “I will work on something for, maybe ten minutes and then take a break to eat dinner, then study for another ten minutes… but it gets the stuff done.”
Tasty snacks are another good motivator when hitting the books.
“If it’s cold, I’ll go make some popcorn and put on a pot of coffee,” said Gensimore.
“I really like Nutella, and I can just eat it straight [from the jar],” said Smith. “It’s so delicious. And I’m always done [working] by ten to go to late night.”
Whatever methods and motivators you choose when studying, it is important to do things that help you relax, stay focused, and effectively accomplish everything you need to do to get through the end of the semester successfully.