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THE HC TEAM WEIGHS IN: Our Study Secrets Revealed!

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This week we’re sharing our well-tested study secrets! The HC team spills on what snacks they like to nosh on, what music they like to listen to, the best study breaks to release stress, and other keys to enhance your study skills!
So…tell us…what’s your study secret?
My mom used to make me eat oranges. She used to tell me that the citrus in the oranges helps you stay awake and was way healthier than loads of cups of coffee. It didn’t make me as hyper as coffee, tasted way better and helped me get through late night studying!
–       Divya Bahl, HC Alum, Boston University
Tea and M&M’s … unusual combo I know. Caffeine + sugar = happiness. Generally a GIANT tea that will last me at least 2 hours (as a general rule it is cold in Montana ALL OF THE TIME, even indoors) and M&M’s as a treat to tide me over. Beware of the giant bag of M&M’s — you might experience a sugar coma.
–       Colette Maddock, Campus Correspondent, University of Montana

–       ­­Amanda First, Dorm Life Editor, Cornell University
My secret: The library or a study room — really anywhere except my own place (I live in a house but this applies to dorm rooms, too). I cannot focus late at night when my bed is within sight. I’ll say “oh, I’ll just take a quick cat nap and then wake up and do more…” eight hours later…”Crap!” It never works. So, I go somewhere beyond my sleeping space to study, and have snacks and coffee on hand.
–       Meagan Templeton-Lynch, Contributing Writer, Colorado State University

I like to study for a solid hour, no interruptions or breaks and then I take thirty minutes to myself. This can be to get a snack, to watch a TV show or even to workout a little. The break is helpful both physically and mentally when I study.
­– Rachel Dozier, Contributing Writer, James Madison University
I wish I had an exciting study technique but it’s pretty basic. I remember things better when I write them down so I transcribe all audio recordings and rewrite my handwritten notes and then I type everything up, staple it together, and highlight the key points. I typically drink a LOT of coffee, pull all-nighters (because if I go to bed, I somehow end up feeling more tired the next morning) and listen to classical music, like Beethoven and Mozart.
– Daylina Miller, Campus Correspondent, University of South Florida
This is probably awful and terrible for my body, but whenever “hell week” comes around I always stockpile coffee in my apartment — and not just any coffee. Whispers, the library cafe, makes a drink called the “All-Nighter”: a cup of black coffee with 2-3 (or 4) shots of espresso. I always ask for it in venti-sized cups and bring them back to my apartment to sustain me for a few days. I try to drink lots of water to offset all of the caffeine, but I have to say that it helps.
–       Judith Ohikuare, Contributing Writer, University of Washington in St. Louis
During past finals weeks my roommates and I have had mandated hourly dance breaks. Everyone studies on their own for a little bit and then meets in the living room for a quick one-song dance party. I’m sure our neighbors aren’t too fond of this technique but it works great for us!
–       Sarah Weinberg, Contributing Writer, San Diego State University

Shut off your computer if you don’t need it. Facebook and Twitter are definitely very distracting! Also, it’s good to munch on something healthy so you don’t feel guilty about it, like cereal or fruit.
–       Jessica Chen, Social Media Associate, UT Austin

Freedom!!! Freedom is “a simple productivity application that locks you away from the Internet on Mac or Windows computers for up to eight hours at a time.” (http://macfreedom.com/) Never mind the temptation to check Facebook, to online shop, or gchat your friends; you CAN’T procrastinate!
–       Grace Cho, Director of Global Expansion, Harvard University
Study a little bit everyday. Outline notes every weekend. Sleep early the night before. To flat out memorize, write write and more writing.
–       Henry Zhan, Digital Media Associate, UT Austin
I firmly believe in the power of flash cards.  They force you to rewrite parts of your notes and help you focus on the points that are truly important.  In fact, I’ve become so dependent on them that I honestly believe I don’t do as well on tests if I don’t make them!
– Shannon Kirk, Contributing Writer, DeSales University
I always break my studying up into chunks and give myself short rewards when I finish a section. Provided I have enough time before the test, I’ll read through my notes once, then watch a half-hour TV show. After I’ll look through my homework, then surf Her Campus for 10-15 minutes. Then I’ll quiz myself on my notes and go get a snack, etc. Studying is a lot easier when you’re not sitting in once place for 5 hours trying to focus!
– Quinn Cohane, Digital Media Associate and Branch Manager, Bowdoin College
I’m not that organized when it comes to taking notes. I take notes for all of my classes in the same notebook. But I type them up every night on a separate word document for each class. It helps keep me organized and it allows me to review my notes on a daily basis, which makes studying for a test at the end of a semester a whole lot easier. Plus, typing up my notes gives me my very own study guide!
–       Gabriela Szewcow, Contributing Writer, Elon University

I always eat lots of green vegetables before I start studying for a big test. One of my professors suggested the idea to us, so I tried it, and amazingly it worked. But if vegetables aren’t really your thing I suggest drinking soda, coffee, or fruit juices (but 100& pure juice). Those always give me an extra boost for long nights of studying!
­– Krista Evans, Campus Correspondent, Simmons College

Cara Sprunk has been the Managing Editor of Her Campus since fall 2009. She is a 2010 graduate of Cornell University where she majored in American Studies with a concentration in cultural studies. At Cornell Cara served as the Assistant Editor of Red Letter Daze, the weekend supplement to the Cornell Daily Sun where she also wrote for the news and arts section and blogged about pop culture. In her free time Cara enjoys reading, shopping, going to the movies, exploring and writing.  
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