Editor's Blog: New Semester Favorites

Sammy Boyd, Managing Editor

1. Studying Somewhere New

I don’t know if it’s just me, but I can never focus when trying to study in my room. One minute I’ll be taking notes, and the next I’ll start watching Netflix, getting distracted by something in my dorm, or even falling asleep. One thing that I’ve found to really help with this is shaking up my study routine and finding somewhere new, that’s not my room or the library (or any of my other regular spots). For finals last year I spent a lot of time at the Washington College of Law, which was perfect because it was technically “off campus” and therefore new to me, but still easy to get to by shuttle. I’ve also tried going to buildings on the quad that I usually don’t spend any time in, which for me are SOC and SIS. Spending time in a new environment helped prevent me from getting distracted, and I was able to focus more easily. I definitely recommend it!


2. Classical Music

I’ve always been jealous of the people who can study while listening to music, because no matter how hard I try, I always end up listening to the lyrics instead of paying attention to the work I’m supposed to be doing. I’d heard of studying to classical music before, but didn’t think it was for me. However, I recently gave it a try and was happily surprised by how much I liked it. It’s perfect for when you don’t want the room to be completely silent, but get too distracted by music with lyrics. I listen to the “Classical for Studying” or “Classical Goes Pop” stations on Pandora, and I’ve definitely seen a difference in my focus. 

Fiona Caulfied, Section Editor

1. Frank's Peppermint Body Scrub

This indulgent experience is made of ground coffee beans. It tickles and tantalizes the senses: the gritty texture makes for a rough but satisfying massage, and the more I rub it around, the more the coffee color spreads out from the grounds and permeates my skin. All the while, coffee and peppermint aromas waft around the shower. It leaves the body feeling smooth and supple, and the mind calmly energized.


2. Hot Water Bottle

On cold winter nights there's nothing like snuggling up in a pile of toasty blankets. What makes it even better is my hot water bottle. This pouch made of soft pink rubber, and filled with boiling water right before bed, takes cozy to the next level. 

Tori Dickson, Section Editor

1. Switching up your Note-taking

During my first semester of college, I always stuck with one style of note-taking: handwritten. I thought writing down my notes was the most effective way to remember what was happening in class and was easier to study with. However, I’ve since learned that typing notes can also be an effective way to keep up with class discussions – for certain classes. Rather than sticking with one medium – notebook or laptop – I’ve learned that just like each one of my classes provides different knowledge, how I transfer that knowledge into notes is also dependent on the content. Personally, I find handwritten notes to be useful in discussion based classes and typed notes better for lectures. Switching up note styles helps to customize your learning and individualize each class.

2. Tryst in Adams Morgan

Tryst, a coffee-shop in downtown Adams Morgan, is one of my ideal study spots for when I want to get off campus. It has an urban vibe and its later hours are perfect if you want to go after class or later on in the day. If you don’t mind noise, especially during night-time hours, Tryst is a go-to study place. The drinks are delicious (I recommend the ginger-spice latte) and they also have a food menu. Since they have a bar and sometimes feature live music, going after 10 might not lead to a lot of productivity, but the earlier hours are great for getting work done under soft light and the smell of espresso in the air.

Shannon Exley, Editor in Chief

1. Colored Notecards

Spring semester is upon us, and that means it’s time to get down to business.  Colored notecards are a study/notetaking technique I love that make it easy to prepare for exams down the line.  Notecards are the one study technique I swear by.  Starting a new semester means I really have to stock up on these!  Every semester I feel increasingly guilty about the number of trees I’m cutting down, but what can I say? I just love having all the information I need to know in the palm of my hand!  Colored notecards add an exciting twist to the mundaneness of studying for exams, too.

2. Hot Chocolate

Winter is in full force, and for California natives like myself, this essentially means I’ll be wearing my winter coat for the next four months! Being back in D.C. after a warm winter break also means I’ll do whatever I can to stay warm, which of course includes buying way too many Starbucks drinks.  Because I’m too lame to actually enjoy drinking coffee, I have developed a deep, deep love for a rich cup of hot chocolate.  This is what keeps me awake during my late night studying (lame, I know).

Photo Credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5