Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Study Tips!

It's almost summer vacation! It's already summer vacation for some of us though, but I hope these tips will get others of you through the end of your semester.

I always refused to listen to study tips when they tried to teach them to me in high school because I thought I was just fine.  Though I am sure they would have helped, I think the study tips I learned through experience were entirely different than what anyone would have taught me.  I have some kind of strange things that have helped me get through college.  Maybe they will help some of you too.

  • Dress up for studying- I'm serious.  There is nothing fun about feeling down because you have to go to the library instead of going to a party with your friends.  I also find it generally difficult to motivate myself to even get to the library to do work.  So I will often take 30 minutes maximum to make myself look nice.  I feel better if I am wearing an outfit that makes me feel good.  That outfit will vary from person to person.  Some people feel better wearing sweatpants and that's okay too!  Confidence applies to anything and everything and if I am confident in how I look, I am more likely to be confident in getting things done.
  • Spoil yourself- Along with dressing up for the library, I sometimes make the whole event into a big production and get myself some kind of food that I have been wanting for a long time.  Whatever.  If I am going to be sitting in the library for hours, I can't be hungry because that can be distracting.  If you have to deal with the torture of wading through material that bores you, at least make it somewhat pleasant with your favorite food/drinks.  There is no shame in drinking a million calorie frapp if it will get you a good grade... right?
  • Go somewhere else- I find it difficult to study in my room at school or in my house.  I also find the library distracting and often too social for me to be productive so I have gone to cafes or Barnes and Noble to do work instead.  Sometimes it's also helpful to go somewhere that doesn't have wifi, depending on what kind of work you are trying to get done.
  • Use Google Docs- I have friends who lose their work all the time whether it's because of misplacing a document, losing a USB drive, MS Word quitting... but I have never had that problem because I use Google Docs!  Google Docs is a Google extension of sorts that connects to your Google email.  It has tons of storage and auto saves all your documents which you can access anywhere through your email! Check it out:
  • Choose good music- Some people don't work well while listening to music and if that's the case for you, feel free to ignore this.  I work well when I have a playlist because that does not involve me constantly fiddling with what music to play and getting lost on Spotify.  I usually prefer instrumental music or music in a different language so that lyrics don't distract me.  Usually I prefer things that are upbeat because they get me more motivated and won't put me to sleep.  I know a lot of people do well with listening to soundtracks and classical music.  Some of my favorite music to listen to while doing schoolwork is: JPop (Kyary or Perfume), Shpongle, and Anamanaguchi
  • Make your own study guides- I used to be one of those people who just re-read things and thought I could just absorb it and then was shocked when I didn't do well on exams because I "studied".  It helped a lot, specifically for science courses, when I started making study guides a week in advance.  The sooner the better, actually, because it takes a while to actually write them and you will want time to review them once you're done.  My notes from class were always messy and not so organized so rewriting them helped.  When I say "rewriting", I mean writing by hand.  It helps stick in your memory better when you physically write it out.  I am a huge fan of making everything mundane into something fun so I always brought colored pens and markers along when making study guides.  Color coding is also another way to help remember things.  I can't find a photo of any of them on this computer but I'll edit this post if I come across any.
  • Know when to take a break- I have a problem which is that I sit in front of the computer staring at the screen, don't get anything done, but refuse to leave the library because I know I have a 20 page paper to write and am not allowed to have fun until it's done.  I have wasted a lot of time by doing this.  Sometimes it's just more worth it to go and do something fun and take time away from your work.

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